Borderlands Theater strives to build equitable, joyful, and meaningful collaborations with the local community through innovative theater and responsive cultural programs ingrained in the heritage, narratives, and lived experiences of peoples rooted across the Sonoran Desert.

Art is Vital Meet Ups  

Take a deep dive into healing power of arts and culture.  Art Is Vital Meet Ups are taking place throughout our 2023-24 Art Is Vital Season.  Part backstage pass, part theatre appreciation class, part artist talk – the Art Is Vital Meet Ups are open to anyone interested learning about the impact of theatre on wellbeing.

Musical Theater in the Borderlands!

Saturday, October 21, 11:45am (departure) – 7:30pm (return)

Board the “party van” to Phoenix College where you will experience a concert sharing of the songs from Anita: The Musical, a new musical in development at Borderlands Theater.  Westside homegirl and actor Clarrissa Rodriguez (BFA, Marymount Manhattan College) is your guide. On the ride to Phoenix enjoy a brown bag lunch while Clarrissa presents on the history of musical theater along with audio samplings and interactive activities to break the ice.

Once at Phoenix College, sit down with Anita composer, Quetzal Guerrero, and playwright, MIlta Ortiz, for an intimate discussion on what inspired them and their process to compose the musical’s original score. Then watch the concert sharing co-presented by Childsplay Theatre Company. Enjoy a post-performance reception with appetizers before heading back to Tucson.

Cost: $30 to cover transportation.  No one turned away for lack of funds.

Limited to 10 people.

More about Art is Vital Meet Ups

Meet the Artists

Through intimate discussions, actors, writers, digital media designers, musicians, and other Borderlands artists discuss what inspires them, share new work, and explain the process and the impact of their work on communities and themselves.

Theatre Appreciation

Featuring theater experts breaking down the history different theatrical genres Borderlands works in – including forms of popular theatre, community ritual, musical theatre, shadow puppetry, post-dramatic theater, and augmented reality.

Go Behind the Scenes

Sit in on a rehearsal and then get the director’s analysis of the scene, learn how we’re creating hologram projections for our upcoming main stage show, hear from a mental health counselor and the teens they worked with about the mental health play they wrote together.

Break Bread and Meet New People

Every Meet Up is moderated by an artist guide who will facilitate ice breaker activities that allow the group to build trust and know a little about each other’s stories. We believe that food is an essential part of having a good time and building community. So you can count on having delicious food at every Meet Up.

Patsy Lee remembers her family’s Barrio Hollywood store, Alan’s Market, at Westside Stories.

Upcoming Meet Ups

We are still working on the schedule, but here is a little preview.

October 21, 2024Musical Theatre in the Borderlands
November 2023Post Dramatic Theater and the cast of ANTIGONA 3.0
Theater and Mental Health w/teens from the Community Artist School
February 2024Augmented Reality: How theatre in the 21st century is preserving heritage
March 2024Behind the Scenes – rehearsal with the director of ANTIGONA 3.0
Digital Media and Shadow Puppetry: Telling the Story of Felix Lucero
April 2024Hologram Projections with digital media artist Adam Cooper-Terán
July 2024Art is Vital Shareback – what did we learn?

Meet Up FAQs

WHO CAN COME?   Anyone interested in the Meet Up topic is welcome. Youth under 16 should be accompanied by an adult.

WHERE DO MEET UPS HAPPEN? Meet Ups will take place all over Tucson and beyond. Wherever Borderlands is doing its work.

WHEN ARE MEET UPS HAPPENING? We are still putting the schedule together and will have it out soon. But our first one is taking place Saturday, October 21!  

IS THERE A COST? Most Meet Ups are free, but sometimes we charge a nominal fee to cover things like transportation. No one will be turned away for lack of funds. 

CAN I ATTEND MORE THAN ONE?  Yes!  You can attend as many as you like, as long as you sign up in time.

WHY ARE WE OFFERING MEET UPS? Borderlands Theater strongly believes that art and culture are public goods and that active participation in the arts is vital to mental and physical wellbeing and social cohesion. Art is Vital Meet Ups give community members a deeper understanding of how art and wellbeing are connected. Meet Ups are themselves opportunities to experience joy and connection with others.

Got more questions? Email Meet Ups producer, Marc Pinate at marc@borderlandstheater

Borderlands Theater Awarded 100K to participate in One Nation One Project

Leveraging the power of the arts for the wellbeing of all.

Borderlands Theater is excited to announce their participation in the One Nation One Project initiative that centers the role of the arts as a vital tool for community wellness. The central theory is that community plus the arts equals healthier people, healthier societies. ONOP has gathered research and statistics to prove this theory. Borderlands Theater in Tucson is one of 18 cities across the country setting out to gather more data to back the claim that arts are vital to our own and our city’s wellbeing.

“Congratulations Borderlands Theater. Thank you for your incredible work telling our history.” – Mayor Regina Romero.

Read Full Press Release