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  • Performance in the Borderlands

    We undertake special initiatives to advance the mission of serving as a beacon for the cultural, artistic and educational resources in the region.

  • Performance in the Borderlands

    We undertake special initiatives to advance the mission of serving as a beacon for the cultural, artistic and educational resources in the region.

  • Performance in the Borderlands

    We undertake special initiatives to advance the mission of serving as a beacon for the cultural, artistic and educational resources in the region.

  • Performance in the Borderlands

    We undertake special initiatives to advance the mission of serving as a beacon for the cultural, artistic and educational resources in the region.

  • Performance in the Borderlands

    We undertake special initiatives to advance the mission of serving as a beacon for the cultural, artistic and educational resources in the region.

Home / Faculty and Research / Performance in the Borderlands

Performance in the Borderlands works at the intersection of arts, performance and social justice. We undertake special initiatives to advance the mission of serving as a beacon for the cultural, artistic and educational resources in the region. 

We advocate for artists and fund performances, lectures, workshops and social engagements for community members and students. Through the arts, we cultivate “spaces of generosity” where we come together to foster community and the exhange of ideas.

Upcoming events

Border Women (Virtual Talk) - February 23, 2022

In collaboration with Social Transformation Lab (ASU), please join PIB for a conversation with Dr. Michelle Tellez. Border Women and the Community of Maclovio Rojas tells the story of the community’s struggle to carve out space for survival and thriving in the shadows of the U.S.-Mexico geopolitical border. Near Tijuana, Baja California, the autonomous community of Maclovio Rojoas demonstrates what is possible for urban place-based political movements. More than a community, Maclovio Rojas is a women-led social movement that works for economic and political autonomy to address issues of health, education, housing, nutrition, and security.

Michelle Téllez, associate professor of Mexican American Studies and Gender Studies at the University of Arizona, writes about transnational community formations, Chicana feminism, and gendered migration. She co-edited The Chicana M(other)work Anthology: Porque Sin Madres No Hay Revolución.

Performative Borders (Virtual Talk) - March 10, 2022

Join PIB as we invite students and artists to a public conversation and demonstration of performance, music and dance at the intersection of borders and immigration. Guest speakers will share their work and ideas about the ways that art and artists are shifting the narrative at the US/México border.

Politics of Place (Performance Event) - April 9, 2022

In collaboration with ASU students, faculty and community leaders, Politics of Place focuses on the ways cultural workers and artists engage policy and history to make visible places of liberation and freedom. Featuring Danza Azteca with the Indigenous women's collective, Cihupactli Collective; music and performance by the Movement for Black LIves; and student capstone projects focusing on south Phoenix and social change.

Decolonizing Movement (Workshop) - April 28, 2022

Join Adrea Assaf and Dora Arreola for an afternoon theatre and dance workshop focusing on decolonizing and anti-racist movement informed by ancestral knowledge and practice.  This workshop is co-presented with Art2Action. For more information:  https://www.usf.edu/arts/theatre-and-dance/about-us/contact-us/dora-arreola.aspx

Mujeres in Ritual (Performance event) - June 24, 2022

Mujeres en Ritual Danza-Teatro—based in Tijuana, México and Tampa, Florida—is an all-women ensemble of dancers and actresses from México and the U.S., founded in 1999 by Artistic Director Dora Arreola to investigate techniques of the body. Arreola has developed our unique physical training process, drawing from diverse techniques: Grotowski’s physical actions (Objective Drama and Art as a Vehicle phases), Butoh’s body poetics, Suzuki’s precision, and ritual structures from traditions of México. The company creates original performances and explores issues of gender and communities in crisis through workshops, training and performances. We aim to establish the presence and voices of women in the public sphere, particularly in the border region of México and the United States. Mujeres en Ritual productions have toured in México, the United States, Canada, Nicaragua and Poland, receiving numerous commissions and invitations to festivals around the world.

View all events on zoom


Sample performances

Desierto Remix: Performance in the Desert

Desert Sightings: Performance in the Borderlands


Media mentions


2003–2004 Season

2003–2004 Season

Lecture Series

This series offers unique opportunities for engaging in intimate conversations with some of the most important performance scholars and artists working in Mexico and United States.

  • February 27, 3:30 p.m. | Comedy in Chicano Theatre: Who is Laughing Now? | lecture by Dr. Jorge Huerta | Coconino Room, Memorial Union, ASU Tempe campus | Dr. Huerta is Chancellor’s Associate’s Professor of Theatre at the University of California, San Diego. He is author of Chicano Theatre: Themes and Forms (Bilingual Press, 1982) and Chicano Drama: Performance, Society, and Myth (Cambridge, 2000).
  • March 30, 3:30 p.m. | Performance: Selena’s Rodeo Hustle: Crossing Over Tejano | lecture by Dr. Deborah Paredez | Art Building, Room 246, ASU Tempe campus | Dr. Paredez holds a PhD from the Interdisciplinary Theatre and Drama Program at Northwestern University. She is currently a faculty member of both the Department of Theatre & Dance and the Center for Mexican American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. She is the 2002 recipient of the Alfredo Cisneros del Moral Foundation Writing Award for her book of poetry, This Side of Skin (Wings Press, 2002).

2007–2008 Season

2007–2008 Season

Lunchtime Lecture Series

  • Nov. 12, noon | Notes from a Border Zone: Theatrical Facilitations with Bosnian | Youth Fiesta Room, Memorial Union, ASU Tempe campus | Brown Bag Lecture with Sonja Kuftinec (Professor, University of Minnesota)
  • April 7, noon | Arts and Resistance Under Pinochet | Coor L1–10, ASU Tempe campus | Brown Bag Lecture with Joanne Pottlitzer, playwright, theater director, translator, educator, and winner of two Obie awards
  • Oct. 25, 26, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 27, 2 p.m. | Black Butterfly, Jaguar Girl, Piñata Woman and Other Superhero Girls Like Me | Lyceum Theatre, ASU Tempe campus | Through a mix of poems, monologues, music and dramatic scenes, “Black Butterfly…” explores growing up Latina in the inner city. The play follows five girls from the 7th grade through high school. Their journeys begin with a writing assignment. Through ongoing journal entries, audiences experience their triumphs and pitfalls. The play was adapted from the writings of three Los Angeles poets, in collaboration with playwright Luis Alfaro and original director Lisa Peterson.
  • Nov. 2, 7:30 p.m. | Monica Palacios Solo Performance: Greetings from a Queer Señorita! | Galvin Playhouse, ASU Tempe campus | For 25 years, Monica Palacios has been at the forefront of queer Latina/o writing and performing. This Los Angeles–based Chicana writer/performer is the creator of several one–woman shows: The OH! Show; Get Your Feet Wet; Queer Soul; A 20 year retrospective; Besame Mucho; Latin Lezbo Comic; and Greetings from a Queer Señorita; these have been seen across the country and Off–Broadway.
  • Nov. 14, 5:30 p.m. | Gira de Chau Señor Miedo | Nelson Fine Arts Center 133, ASU Tempe campus | From Argentina, this play for young audiences was written by María Inés Falconi, and adapted by Isaías López (17 years old) and Mía Pierina Brembilla (8 years old). It tells the story of Lucas and Mili, two brothers who are trying to sleep, but their fears rise up as night falls. By presenting a common thing among young people, the play helps them to deal with their own fears, and especially, to lose their fear of the dark.
  • Dec. 17, 7p.m. | The Phoenix Pastorela | Galvin Playhouse Tempe campus | An old tradition, updated and made local. Join the shepherds, dog and sheep in their perilous march to Belen to witness the birth of the Baby Jesus. As they pass through the wilds of Arizona they will encounter scary (but whacky) racially– profiling Devils who will snare them with all kinds of gadgets and “laws,” and glorious Archangels who will save them at the last minute with flaming swords and beautiful songs. Sweet Christmas carols sung in English and Spanish accompanied by Gertie and the T.O. Boyz Waila Band! Pinatas for the little ones every show!
  • Feb. 22–23 & Feb. 28–March 1, 7:30 p.m.; Feb. 24 & March 2, 2 p.m. | Dark play or stories for boys by Carlos Murillo | Lyceum Theatre, ASU Tempe campus | Join playwright Carlos Murillo for an audience forum following the opening night performance on Feb. 22 A teenage boy's fictional Internet identity begins as a harmless game. But the game takes on a frightening reality when it's overwhelmed by real emotion. When the virtual world and the real one collide, Nick's fantasies of love, intimacy, obsession and betrayal spiral out of control, leading him to the brink of death.
  • March 28–29 & April 3–5, 7:30 p.m. ; March 30 & April 6, 2 p.m. | Triangleby Laurie Brooks | A new play commissioned by the School of Theatre & Film Lyceum Theatre, ASU Tempe campus | This compelling drama links a girl who toiled and ultimately died in an infamous garment district sweatshop fire 100 years ago to a contemporary Mexican immigrant who is struggling to find meaning in her own life. As the dead girl unfurls her tale of sweatshop drudgery, dreams lost and struggle for survival, immigrant experiences from then and now are contrasted and compared.
  • April 4–5, 7:30 p.m. | enterrada / buried in the body of remembrance | A multi–media performance by Secos & Mojados co–presented with the School of Art Plaza/Amphitheatre between the ASU Art Museum and the Galvin Playhouse, ASU Tempe campus Additionally there will be a brown bag talk with members of Secos & Mojados on April 4 at noon in Coor 184

Stories of immigrants, refugees and people compelled to leave their homelands for various social, political and economic reasons are illuminated by the San Francisco group “Secos y Mojados” in a powerful, multi–media theatrical experience. Performers are all immigrant–artists, urging Americans to rethink the prevalent stereotypical images of immigrants from around the world in our society. Sponsored by the School of Theatre and Film Performance in the Borderlands Project and the School of Art.

Secos y Mojados. Members include Violeta Luna, Mexican actress and performance artist; Víctor Cartagena, visual artist and video maker from El Salvador; David Molina, an Angelino–Salvadorean, musician and composer; Antigone Trimis, collaborator and production coordinator from Greece; and Argentinean theater director Roberto Varea.

2008–2009 Season

2008–2009 Season

  • Nov. 17, 8 p.m. | Ma’tinaa’ti’tech (No te entiendo, or “I don’t understand you”) | Lyceum Theatre, ASU Tempe campus | A play from a Mayan community in the Yucat–n Peninsula, and performed by Performed by Espiridios Acosta, Socorro Loeza, and Mary Llama. Ma’tinaa’ti’tech is about the encroachment of modernity and its effects on a traditional town. The young people are abandoning their language and customs, seeing them as sources of shame, and are lured instead by the promises of a bigger city and so–called modern culture. Caught between rebellion and desperation, the traditional world and the convenient one, the audience sees a very contemporary story about generational differences and the need for balance.
  • Nov. 17–18 | Readings in Contemporary Mexican Theatre/Lecturas del Teatro Mexicano Contemporaneo | Lyceum Theatre
  • Nov. 17 | First Session: 3 p.m. – 7 p.m.
  • 3 p.m. | Welcoming Remarks: Tamara Underiner (ASU) and Israel Franco (CITRU)
  • 3:10 p.m. | Jovita Millán, "Política cultural del Estado Mexicano, ejercida a través del Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes"/“Mexican National Cultural Policy through the National Institute of Fine Arts”
  • 4:45 p.m. | Break (Lobby)
  • 5 p.m. | Socorro Merlín, “"La dramaturgia de Emilio Carballido," “Emilio Carballido’s Dramaturgy”
  • 6:45 p.m. | Dinner Break
  • 8 p.m. | Theatre Presentation:"Ma’tinaa’ti kech" /"No te entiendo" / "I don't understand you"


Tuesday, Nov. 18
  • 3 p.m. | Keynote Presentation: Rodolfo Obregón, “Mexican Theatre Today"
  • Second Session: 4 p.m. – 8 p.m.
  • 4 p.m. | Rocío Galicia, "La dramaturgia de Enrique Mijares, en el contexto del teatro del norte"/ “Enrique Mijares’ Dramaturgy in the Context of Theatre in Northern Mexico”
  • 5:45 p.m. | Break
  • 6 p.m. | Antonio Escobar, "La dramaturgia de Jesús Gonz–lez D–vila,” “Jesús González Dávila’s Dramaturgy”
  • 7:45 p.m. | Closing Remarks: Israel Franco (CITRU) and Tamara Underiner (ASU)

These events made possible through the Herberger College of the Arts, the Performance in the Borderlands Initiative, the Theatre and Performance of the Americas Program of the School of Theatre and Film, and the Consulate General of Mexico en Phoenix.

2009–2010 Season

2009–2010 Season

Lecture Series

This series offers unique opportunities for engaging in intimate conversations with some of the most important performance scholars and artists working in Mexico and United States.

  • Sept. 26, 1–3:30 p.m. | Nelson Fine Arts Center, Rehearsal Hall, ASU Tempe campus | Vibrant Being Workshop with El Teatro Campesino Learn the acting methods of the legendary company that began the Chicano theatre movement in the late 1960s.
  • Feb. 27–28 | Justice Teach–In co–sponsored with Local to Global Justice John O’Neal, Free Southern Theatre, Junebug Productions | Developing from the Tougaloo Drama Workshop in New Orleans, the Free Southern Theatre combined a touring repertory company, a community engagement program in New Orleans, and training workshops in Black Theatre. FST’s purpose was “to use theatre as an instrument to stimulate the development of critical and reflective thought among Black people in the South,” and to support the efforts of those involved in the Civil Rights Movement. The FST expired in 1980. That same year O’Neal organized Junebug Productions, an arts organization based in New Orleans which he now serves as Artistic Director.
  • April 2, 1 p.m. | Lecture and Workshop Nelson Fine Arts Center, 233 & 133, ASU Tempe campus | Urban dance company’s Buck World One Artistic Director Rickerby Hinds provides a history of the originating impulse behind this hip–hop dance theatre troupe and conducts a movement workshop.



  • Sept. 25 & 26, 7:30 p.m. | Paul V. Galvin Playhouse, ASU Tempe campus | Luis Valdez’ La Carpa de los Rasquachis, by El Teatro Campesino | In the mid 1960s, El Teatro Campesino, under the direction of Luis Valdez, launched the Chicano Theater Movement in support of the United Farm Workers Movement, led by César Chávez. La Carpa de los Rasquachis, which loosely translates as “The Tent of the Underdogs” is essentially an immigrant’s story – the epic tale of Chicano farm worker in the United States of America. “La Carpa” unfolds with the struggles, frustrations and ultimate victory of Jesus Pelado Rasquachi in a rich saga brought to life with Mexican ballads known as corridos. Corridos are earthy narratives often sung to celebrate life’s triumphs and tribulations – usually with ironic humor and a rollicking Tex–Mex beat. Misfortune and fate stalks Pelado in the guise of El Diablo–the Devil, and La Calavera–Death. Continually tricked and betrayed, Pelado becomes a pathetic and comical figurine in the hands of manipulative growers, contractors, social workers and finally, the undertaker. (The title simultaneously refers to the long tradition of itinerant popular theater staged under tents and to a Chicano cultural attitude and style known as “rasquachismo,” which aims at making the most with the least, in other words, at conveying rich messages through crude and scarce material means.)
  • April 3, 7:30 p.m. | Lyceum Theatre, 901 S, Forest Mall, ASU Tempe campus |Buck World One | Buck World One uses spoken word, video and hip hop dance as catalysts for solving social tensions and nurturing a sense of community. The director Rickerby Hinds was inspired to work with inner–city youths of the “Inland Empire” in Southern California when he saw them performing a new hip hop dance style after attending a church service. “Buck” or “Krump” uses athleticism, rhythm and acrobatics to create a style that is simultaneously beautiful and intense. This unique dance emerges from youth who face harsh realities of violence and other challenges in their communities. Buck World One stages their moves, their real life stories and their dreams in a breathtaking multimedia setting. The local dance group EPIK, known for combining classic technical training with urban style to become Arizona’s premiere street fusion dance company, will open the show for our SoCal guests.

2010–2011 Season

2010–2011 Season

Lecture Series

The Other Side of Immigration

Nov. 17–18 | ASU Herberger Institute Press Release

Performance in the Borderlands opened its fall 2010 season with a screening of an award-winning documentary film, The Other Side of Immigration, on both the ASU Tempe and west campuses. The public also had an opportunity to meet filmmaker Roy Germano after both screenings during Q-and-A sessions. The Other Side of Immigration is based on more than 700 interviews with men and women from Mexico. The film explores why so many people leave small, Mexican towns to work in the United States, and what happens to the families and communities they leave behind. According to Tamara Underiner, ASU School of Theatre and Film professor and director of the Performance in the Borderlands initiative, the film seeks to promote understanding of “the other side” of the story. theothersideofimmigration.com

2011–2012 Season

2011–2012 Season

Sept. 30 and Nov. 18, 6–10 p.m.

Civil Disobedience A celebration of urban movement, music, words, and arts from various local and international artists. Co–sponsored with Herberger Schools of Dance and Music. All ages welcome! ASU Fine Arts Plaza behind the ASU Art Museum, 10th Street and Mill Avenue. Free and open to the public.

Oct. 7–23
Zoot Suit by Luis Valdez, directed by Andrés Alcalá. Valdez's riveting play, with music and dance, portrays the life of a young man falsely accused of murder after the infamous 1943 Los Angeles "Zoot Suit Riots." Lyceum Theatre, ASU Tempe Campus. Purchase tickets at mainstage.asu.edu.

Friday, Oct. 7, 2 p.m.
"From the Margins to the Mainstream: US Latina/o Theatre and Performance." Noted Chicano Theatre Scholar Jorge Huerta presents an overview of Chicana/o, Cuban American and (mainland) Puerto Rican plays and playwrights since the 1960s. Galvin Playhouse, ASU Tempe. Free and open to the public.

Saturday, Oct. 29, 7:30 p.m. ONE SHOW ONLY
No Roosters in the Desert, by Kara Hartzler, directed by Barclay Goldsmith. Presenting the Phoenix Premiere of Borderlands Theatre's award–winning play, based on the actual experiences of women crossing north into the Arizona desert. On their way they push the limits of their physical and emotional endurance, establishing connections with each other through the magical storytelling of an indigenous woman from Chiapas. See what audiences in Tucson, Chicago and Mexico City have been buzzing about!

Pre–show performances by spoken word poet Myrlin, DJ Alkeme, and filmmaker Efrain Robles begin at 7 p.m. Director Goldsmith and University of Arizona anthropologist Anna Ochoa O'Leary, who conducted the interviews with the women whose stories are told in this play, will participate in a community dialogue after the show. In local partnership with El Break – Isac Amaya Foundation.

Phoenix Center for the Arts Third Street Theatre
(1202 N. Third Street, at E. Moreland, downtown Phoenix)
Tickets available the night of the performance only. Come early, as this will surely sell-out! $10 general admission; $7 with student I.D.

2014–2015 Season

2014–2015 Season

7 p.m., Sept. 26 and 27, 2014 | ASU’s West campus

“La Razón Blindada” – by Aristídes Vargas 
A sharply political play about the nature of tyranny and the human imperative for connection, “La Razón Blindada” (The Armored Reason), is a truly international production. The play sheds glaring light on some of history’s darkest corners. In this instance, the brutal military regime in Argentina that occurred from the 1970s to 1983. Forced into exile during that period, writer-director Aristídes Vargas writes from the deeply personal perspective of one who has suffered under a system gone mad. “Razón” was inspired by his brother, imprisoned and tortured during Argentina’s “Dirty War.” Languishing in isolation, he was allotted an hour each Sunday to interact with his fellow prisoners – time spent acting out stories, their hedge against despair. The sheer spate of verbiage makes the supertitles a bit daunting for non-Spanish-speakers, but despite that barrier, the effect is hallucinatory, surprisingly funny and surreal, an absurdist construct that hammers home man’s gross capacity for inhumanity – and his transcendent ability to endure.


7 p.m., Oct. 3, 2014 | ASU Art Museum International Artist Residency Program, Combine Studios, 3rd Street and Garfield – 821 N. 3rd St., Phoenix
Banned Plays: Radio Mambo – by Richard Montoya Radio
Mambo was on the list of literary works removed from classrooms in 2012 during the infamous Mexican-American Studies Ban in Arizona. Richard Montoya is co-founder of Culture Clash, the group that devised Radio Mambo. Featuring: Richard Montoya, Julio Cesar Morales, Dora Arreola, Sean San Jose, and Michelle Ponce to talk about their work on and around borders. Nov. 13, 7 – 9 p.m. Banned Plays: The Walls by Griselda Gambaro Location: Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art This deeply ironic play is composed by Griselda Gambaro, one of Latin America’s foremost contemporary and controversial playwrights. Two eccentric civil employees who inexplicably charge him with a crime kidnap a man; he is locked in a well-furnished room where the walls begin to collapse on him. Gambaro brilliantly uses drama and dark humor to portray the individual’s inability to rise up against abuse and psychological terror.


7 p.m., Nov. 13, 2014 | Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, 7374 E. 2nd St., Scottsdale
Banned Plays: ‘The Walls’ – by Griselda Gambaro
This deeply ironic play is composed by Griselda Gambaro, one of Latin America’s foremost contemporary and controversial playwrights. Two eccentric civil employees inexplicably charge a man with a crime and kidnap him; he is locked in a well-furnished room where the walls begin to collapse on him. Gambaro brilliantly uses drama and dark humor to portray the individual’s inability to rise up against abuse and psychological terror.


May 6, 2015, 7 p.m. | Phoenix Youth Hostel and Cultural Center, 1026 N 9th St, Phoenix, Arizona 85006
How Not to Make Love to a Woman – Written and performed by ASU PhD Student Laurelann Porter with special guest artists Michelle Ivette Ponce and Nikki G. 
An almost-comedy about domestic violence. Please note: contains nudity and mature content. 

2015–2016 Season

2015–2016 Season

2016 Black ARTS Matter

Creator: Dr. Nia Witherspoon
Producer: Performance in the Borderlands
Sponsored by: Theatre & Performance of the Americas, Performance in the Borderlands, School of Film, Dance and Theatre

Sunday, Feb. 21, 2 – 3:30 p.m.
Title: Writing Workshop for Film and Television
Location: Burton Barr Library
Facilitated by: Cassandra Nicholson

Tuesday, Feb. 23, 7 – 9 p.m.
Title: Pre-show - Black Arts Movement Sharing and Readings
Public invitation to share (open mic style) the works of seminal authors from the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s - 1970s.
Lead by: BlackPoet Ventures
Location: TBA

Weds, Feb. 24, 6 – 9 p.m.
AZ ArtWorker Theatre Workshop with Asantewa Sunni-Ali
Title: Solo Performance: Pathways to Radical Self and Community Reimagination
Location: Black Theatre Troupe Opening
Presentation: Fatimah Hallim "Art in prisons"
Sponsor: Arizona Commission on the Arts, Black Theatre Troupe

Thursday, Feb. 25, 6 – 8 p.m.
Title: Local Black Arts
Panel Black artistic leaders talk about their work in Arizona in theatre, visual art and film.
Lead by: Mujeres del Sol
Location: TBA

Friday, Feb. 26, 7 – 8 p.m.
Keynote: Tia Oso
The importance of arts to the Black Lives Matter movement.
Location: Mesa Arts Center, Dobson Theatre
Collaboration: MAC Free

Friday, Feb. 26, 8 – 9 p.m.
Title: Spoken Worlds Series, Featuring Dahlak Brathwaite
Hip-hop and spoken words performance about the experience of young Black men in America.
Location/Collaboration: Mesa Arts Center

Saturday, Feb. 27, 1 – 3 p.m.
Title: "dat Black Mermaid Man Lady"
Stage reading & performance by Sharon Bridgforth & Sonja Perryman
Location: ASU Tempe Campus, Directing Studio

Saturday, Feb. 27, 7 p.m.
The America Play & Talk Back
All guests and participants invited to watch The America Play
Location: ASU Tempe Campus, Directing Studio

Sunday, Feb. 28, 4 – 6 p.m.
Title: BlackARTSMatter post-show panel
Guests speak on the importance of Black ARTS in the service of social movements and creating new paradigms for social and political thought.
Location: ASU Tempe Campus, Directing Studio

 BlackARTSMatter, in conjunction with the opening Suzan-Lori Parks' "The America Play" aims to assert the power of the arts in movements toward justice as black folks. The engagements will offer a series of panels, public talks, workshops, and play readings centered on Black experiences and the importance of Black epistemologies and aesthetics. The event will gather artists, activists and thinkers, poised to facilitate dialogue between students, faculty, and the community themed around 1) mobilizing theatre communities around Black Lives Matter; and 2) interrogating the potential of theatre's unique contributions to the Black Lives Matter movement. It will consist of a series of staged readings, performances, speakers, workshops, and panels to be shaped in collaboration with each contributor around the above themes. We are inviting an array of black artists, activists, and thinkers to come together for this convening to both present their work and strategize new ways of thinking about art’s integral role in the Black Lives Matter movement. Collaboration with: Mesa Arts Center, Arizona Commission on the Arts, Black Theatre Troupe, South Mountain Community College


Fall 2015

September 2015
Conjunto Blues - Nicolas Valdez 
Conjunto Blues is the newest performance by SanAnto’s own cultural activist, Nicolas Valdez. By threading together performance poetry, live music and documentary footage, Conjunto Blues explores the historical and social conditions that led to the development of Conjunto music as an expression of cultural resistance and liberation. “We are all the products of great migrations,” proclaims Valdez. Conjunto Blues follows the migration of the diatonic button accordion, first introduced to Texas by German settlers and appropriated by Xicano communities along the US/Mexico border that, combined with the 12-stringed bajo sexto, has become the heart and soul of Conjunto music. According to Juan Tejeda, founder of the Tejano Conjunto Festival in San Antonio, Conjunto music is “an original American ensemble” that tells the story of the Mexican American working class. Conjunto Blues also pays homage to his abuelito Ramon, whose enthusiasm and love for Conjunto music first led him to the accordion. By age 9, Valdez was learning from the legendary Valerio Longoria, Master Accordion Instructor at the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center’s Xicano Music Program, the first of its kind in the United States and founded by Tejeda. 

October 2015 | PHX / Douglas, AZ 

From October 5 – October 16, ASU Performance in the Borderlands will host artist Ana Teresa Fernandez for a statewide residency. The broad aim of the residency is to introduce communities across the state to Ana’s work, themes, and contributions to border arts and politics. The bilingual residency includes public talks, a public art project, community workshops, community dialogues, artist visits, and professional development training. The residency will culminate in a public painting/erasing of the border between MEX/US as Ana reproduces her most famous work, Borrando la Frontera. The interest and investment for this residency is twofold: 1) to build statewide partnerships with organizations and institutions to increase the accessibility of ASU Performance in the Borderlands' work to multiple publics; and, 2) to engage and build on the themes of feminism, border politics and arts production present in Ana’s work. Key to the success of the residency is the central role that partners play in developing both the content and community engagements. Ana Teresa Fernandez was born and raised in Tampico, Mexico. She received her MFA in 2006 from the San Francisco Art Institute. Through painting, performance, and video, Fernandez enacts and participates in the politics of intersectionality, as it shapes the personal identity, the political rhetoric and culture, and the everyday tasks of ordinary people. Her work illuminates the barriers, both psychological and physical, that confine and divide gender, race, and class in western society and the global south.

November 11-15, 2015
Guillermo Gomez Pena and Pocha Nostra Residency and workshop 
Raised in Mexico City, Gómez-Peña came to the US in 1978. His work, which includes performance art, video, audio, installations, poetry, journalism, and cultural theory, explores cross-cultural issues, immigration, the politics of language, "extreme culture" and new technologies in the era of globalization. A MacArthur fellow, he is a regular contributor to the national radio news magazine All Things Considered (National Public Radio), a writer for newspapers and magazines in the U.S. and Mexico, and a contributing editor to The Drama Review (MIT). For twenty years, Gómez-Peña has been exploring intercultural issues with the use of mixed genres and experimental languages. Continually developing multi-centric narratives and large-scale performance projects from a border perspective, Gómez-Peña creates what critics have termed "Chicano cyber-punk performances," and "ethno-techno art." In his work, cultural borders have moved to the center while the alleged mainstream is pushed to the margins and treated as exotic and unfamiliar, placing the audience members in the position of "foreigners" or "minorities." He mixes English and Spanish, fact and fiction, social reality and pop culture, Chicano humor and activist politics to create a "total experience" for the viewer/reader/audience member. These strategies can be found in his live performance work, his radio chronicles, his award-winning video art pieces, and his five published books. Through his organization La Pocha Nostra, Gómez-Peña has focused very intensely in the notion of collaboration across national borders, race, gender and generation as an act of citizen diplomacy and as a means to create “ephemeral communities.” 

2016–2017 Season

2016–2017 Season

April 22 and 23, 2017

"M.A.S." by Milta Ortis and developed by Borderlands Theatre
Time and Location: TBA



















March 2017

Flamenco Por La Vida presents "Lluvia Flamenca"
Each year, Performance in the Borderlands supports local producers and performers. Our ongoing partnership with FPLV is in its third year. "Lluvia Flamenca" features international artists who practice and reinvent classic Flamenco dance in Arizona.
Location: ASU PEBE East
Date and Time TBA















DJ Lynnee Denise Event FlyerJanuary 26 - 29, 2017

Thursday, Jan 26: 

Student Jam Session with Lynnée Denise
1:30 - 3:30 p.m.
Nelson Fine Arts Center
FAC:  B22 (Basement Dance Studio) 

Artist Lynnee Denise leads an interactive experience that includes dialogue about their creative process and the power of transformational interdisciplinary art making.



Also Thursday, Jan 26: 

Public Talk & Demonstration: DJ Scholarship and Musical Activism
7 - 9 p.m.
Monarch Theatre
122 E. Washington, Phx/AZ
Tickets:  Free (Limited seating), Registration Closed

Join us for a Performative salon and gathering with DJ and scholar, Lynnée Denise, to learn about their work with music, history and activism. Lynnée Denise calls her work “DJ Scholarship” to explain DJ culture as a mix-mode research practice, both performative and subversive in its ability to shape and define social experiences, shifting the public perception of the role of a DJ from being a purveyor of party music to an archivist, cultural worker and information specialist who assesses, collects, organizes, preserves, and provides access to music determined to have long-term value. 

"DJ Scholarship" is informed and inspired by underground cultural movements, the 1980s, migration studies, theories of escape, and electronic music of the African Diaspora. Lynnée is the product of the Historically Black Fisk University with a MA from the historically radical San Francisco State University Ethnic Studies department. 

Sponsored by:  Theatre & Performance of the Americas


Friday, Jan. 27

Lecture Series:  "Doing Intersectionality" 
1 - 3 pm
West Hall
1st Floor Conference Room 

What does intersectional praxis look like?  Join scholars and practitioners as they discuss practical applications for intersectional frameworks and theories.  Round Table discussion includes:  Lynnée Denise, Dr. Marlon Bailey, Dr. Mako Fitts-Ward and Dr. Nia Witherspoon.  

Sponsored by:  Women and Gender Studies and School of Social Transformation


November 17 - 20, 2016

"Nogales: Storytellers in Cartel Country"
In partnership with Mesa Arts Center, "Nogales" is an original theatrical performance that investigates the 2012 killing of Jose Antonio on the US/Mexico border by border patrol. The piece incorporates theatre, media, mask, and community engagement.
Location: Mesa Arts Center, Mesa, AZ











Bi-National Arts Residency - Arizona - October 16-29, 2016October 16 - 29, 2016

Bi-National Arts Residency
Solo-performance artist, Yadira de la Riva, will travel through Arizona and Northern Mexico working with students and communities members to teach theatre as tool for social engagement. The two-week long residency will feature a series of workshop, lectures, performances, and public engagements that bridge the Sonoran Desert.


  • Sunday, Oct. 16 / 7 p.m.:  Meet & Greet (Phoenix Hostel & Cultural Center)
  • Monday, Oct. 17 / 6:30 - 9 p.m.:  Public Theatre Workshop (ASU FAC 133) 
  • Tuesday, Oct. 18 / Morning:  Classroom visits (ASU Theatre for Social Change)
  • Tuesday, Oct. 18 / 6 p.m.:  Workshop (SouthWest Keys and Lost Boys Association)
  • Weds, Oct. 19 / 7 p.m.:  Public show "One Journey" at Rio Salado Restoration Area 


  • Thursday, Oct. 20 / 7 - 9 p.m.:  Student Workshop (La Pilita Cultural Center) 

Douglas/Agua Prieta

  • The Gift of Performance: A bilingual workshop with Yadira de la Riva
    Join theatre artist Yadira de la Riva as she leads workshop participants through storytelling as a form of community asset mapping. Borrowing from the famed Teatro Campesino’s technique for creating Actos, participants will develop several short dramatic works focused on reclaiming community narratives. Select pieces developed in the workshop will be featured in a binational performance on October 22.
    • Friday, Oct 21, from 9:00-11:00 am
    • Participants will be students at Douglas High School
    • Free of charge
    • Location:
      Douglas High School
      1550 15th St
      Douglas, AZ 85607
      Partners: Border Arts Corridor, Douglas High School, City of Douglas, PIB

  • Binational Performance: TransBorder Hermanx: Regalos (Public Perfomance) 
    Join us for an evening of binational performance as a form of gift giving. The evening will feature works produced in a theatre workshop with Yadira de la Riva. Celebrating border culture’s rich history of theatre production as exemplified by Teatro Campesino’s Actos, several pieces addressing the reclaiming of community narratives will be shared and gifted to communities alongside the US/Mexico border. Performances will focus on highlighting the many personal and community assets found in our own backyards, which allow us to re-imagine a future in the borderlands where maintaining a connection to ourselves, to each other and to our landscape is the root of creativity and innovation. 
    • Saturday, Oct 22, from 7:00-10:00 pm
    • Free and open to the public
    • Location:
    • In Douglas: International Avenue, Dolores Ave, Douglas, AZ
    • In Agua Prieta, MX: Calle Internacional, Avenida 23, Agua Prieta, Sonora, MX
    • Partners: Border Arts Corridor, Douglas High School, City of Douglas, City of Agua Prieta, Sonora, Mexico, PIB

  • Friday, Oct. 21/ 5 - 6 p.m.:  Meet & Greet (Galeano's Cafe) 
  • Friday, Oct. 21 / 7 - 9 p.m.:  Theatre Workshop (AZ ArtWorker)
  • Saturday, Oct. 22 / 7 p.m.:  Public show "One Journey" at the Border Crossing Fence


  • Monday, Oct. 24 / 9 a.m.:  Classroom visit (U of A)


  • Monday, Oct. 24 / 6 p.m.:  TBA

Tohono O'odham Nation

  • Weds, Oct. 25 - Saturday, Oct. 29 

Oasis Installation and Performances Featuring Ana Teresa Fernandez

September 24 - 25, 2016

Featured Arizona Artists:  Raji Ganesan, Rashaad Thomas, Leah Marche, and Liliana Gomez

September 24

Artist Ana Teresa Fernandez unveils her site-specific installation, "Oasis", at the Rio Salado Project in south downtown Phoenix. The work focuses on land displacement, immigration, water usage in the desert.

Rio Salado Habitat Restoration Area, Phoenix, AZ

5 p.m.-7 p.m.


September 25

In conjunction with "Oasis," Performance in the Borderlands commissioned four Arizona artists to develop new work that addresses identity, displacement, and the aesthetics of liberation. We asked them to answer the question, "What does oasis mean to communities whose lives are under attack?" Join us for an evening of performance and dialogue around these critical issues.

Rio Salado Habitat Restoration Area, Phoenix, AZ

5 p.m.-7 p.m.




Martha Gonzalez - Event - ArizonaSeptember 13, 2016

Public Conversation and music demonstration with Grammy Award winner and ASU Gammage Resident Artist, Martha Gonzales.

Producer ASU Gammage Beyond in partnership with ASU Performance in the Borderlands presents:

As a Chicana Artivista, mother, feminista scholar, respected songwriter, percussionist, and lead singer of Grammy-winning East Los Angeles’s Chicano Alternative Rock Band, Quetzal, Martha Gonzalez is gifted in activating the community-building power and potential of music. For almost twenty years, Gonzalez’s efforts bridge translocal and transnational borders that nurture a network of ‘convivencia’- the spirit of making and living life together centered around music making, in particular the music of son jarocho of Veracruz, Mexico as practiced through the fandango community. Her scholarship analyzes community music-making practices that debunk commercial and social pressures that often position women to choose between musicianship and motherhood.

Public Panel features:  Liz Lerman, Jaclyn Roessel, Marlon Bailey, and Monica de la Torre"

This program is made possible by ASU Gammage Beyond as part of their residency engagements.









A group of artists will perform and display their work on top of a former landfill this weekend to encourage dialogue on issues such as displacement, immigration and desert water use. Phoenix’s Rio Salado Habitat Restoration Area, a little-known and barely used riparian corridor, will be transformed into a pop-up art installation as part of ASU’s ongoing “Performance in the...

Bilingual artist and educator Yadira De La Riva grew up with a foot on both sides of the U.S. and Mexico border, and she wants to change the narrative on immigration. She thinks that can happen through the power of art and storytelling. “Border issues are often intertwined and complicated,” said De La Riva, a visiting artist from New York...

In the coming weeks and months, desolate sections near the U.S.-Mexico line will transform into arthouses, theaters and classrooms as Arizona State University brings together a collection of artists to focus their talents on borderland issues. An initiative of the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts’ School of Film, Dance and Theatre, the 13th season of “Performance in the...