• 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

Amirah Sackett - February 11-16, 2023

As part of the Binational Arts Residency residency, Amirah Sackett and her partner will lead a series of on-campus workshops and a movement cypher in Tempe. ASU faculty members and Performance in the Borderlands will also travel to Agua Prieta, Mexico to work with students and community members.

    

Media mentions

Archives

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
Productions/Presentations
  • 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!
Productions/Presentations
  • 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.

 

Productions/Presentations

  • 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. 

News

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...

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...

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...