2011-2012 Season


Borderlands Theater announces a Trailblazing season! Journey with us as we traverse landscapes and encounter the experiences of people of diverse cultures: Cuban-American, Pakistani, Mexican, Tzotzil, Bulgarian, East Indian, Liberian…. through plays arising from the pen of women playwrights who are making their own mark in the new American Play Landscape.

Border people, in the best sense of the word, are citizens of the world. In this our 26th season our core mission to support the diverse voices of the U.S./Mexico border region stays on course but we are also going to traverse new landscapes.

Join us as we present four new plays, all by new women play- wrights who are making their mark on the New American Play Landscape. Agnes Under the Big Top is an NNPN Rolling World Premier and Arizona: No Roosters in the Desert is a restaging of last year’s NNPN Rolling World Premier.

In order for us to share with you the extent of our LOCAL/GLOBAL community, we have three community partners. Coalición de Derechos Humanos, Ishkashitaa Refugee Harvesting Network, and The Owl and Panther Project all serve segments of the population presented in our plays or in our Education Outreach Program.

Check the schedule: there’s a trek through the desert with a guiding star, a road trip through the Badlands to the mountains of Wyoming, a subway ride in Mumbai, a mysterious journey from Guantanamo to Canada and a dangerous yet epic journey with four women immigrants traversing the Arizona Desert.

Barclay Goldmsith, Producing Director
Eva Zorrilla Tessler, Associate Artistic Director

Are You Up For It?

Click here to see the 2011-2012 Season Designers.


written by Quiara Alegría Hudes

directed by Norma Medina

“Cancel the Amber Alert!” “A joyful new comedy…”
—The Denver Post

In this hilarious and sweet coming of age tale, a vivacious Cuban mother reunites with her lonely, half-Jewish teenage daughter after eight years of estrangement. They embark on an impromptu cross-country road trip where they finally unpack the tension of different cultural identities and resentments as they discover a commonality they never knew they had.

Read more about 26 MILES…

Supported in part by LULAC

September 15 — October 2

Temple of Music and Art, Cabaret Theater
330 S. Scott Avenue


by Kara Hartzler

based on the fieldwork by Anna Ochoa O’Leary

directed by Barclay Goldsmith

“…evokes the universal experience of all of us…”
—The Tucson Weekly

Back by popular demand! One weekend only!

In this riveting play – based on actual interviews by Anna Ochoa O’Leary – four women trek the desert towards the American dream. On their way they push the limits of their physical and emotional endurance, as they establish profound yet fragile connections with each other through the magical storytelling of the youngest of them, an indigenous woman from Chiapas.

Read more about Arizona: No Roosters in the Desert…

October 20-23, 2011

Zuzi’s Theater
738 N. 5TH Avenue

October 29, 2011

Arizona State University

Supported in part by TPAC Kresge Arts Tucson and the University of Arizona Spanish and Portuguese Department (College of Humanities). Community Partner: Derechos Humanos


written by Wendy Burk, Eric Magrane, and the Pastorela Ghost Writers

directed by Eva Tessler

“…merry Pastorela reflects the spirit of Tucson…”
—The Tucson Weekly

Join us once more for a cherished Tucson family tradition for the Sweet 16th time!
Once again shepherds, dog and sheep march towards Belen to witness the nativity. What are Lucifer and his minions planning this time? Will Glorious Michael and Cool Gabriel be able to save the travelers from the eternal haboob, or roasting in Phoenix-like heat? The fun continues with lovely Christmas carols in Spanish and English accompanied by Gertie & the T.O. Boyz rocking Waila band! Piñatas for the niños after every show!

Read more about A Tucson Pastorela…

Supported by Friends of the Pastorela
Undewriter: Catherene Morton Phd.J.D.

December 15-18

Tucson Convention Center, Leo Rich Theater
260 S. Church Ave.


written by Aditi Brennan Kapil

directed by Barclay Goldsmith

“Rich in feeling, wide in scope, teeming with poetry…”
—The New York Times

A National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere, and Recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts’ 2009 Distinguished New Play Development Project

Five vibrant souls redefine themselves in their new world against the subterranean rhythms of a subway train! Funny and powerful, this new play explores the intersecting lives of Agnes, a Liberian homecare worker, a Bulgarian ringmaster and his wife, an Indian call center escapee, and an itinerant transit busker.

Read more about AGNES UNDER THE BIG TOP…

Borderlands Theaters’ production of Agnes Under the Big Top is part of a Rolling World Premiere that includes productions at Mixed Blood Theatre in Minneapolis, MN and a production at Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, CT.

Supported in part by NNPN (National New Playwrights) Rolling World Premiere.
Underwriters: Dr. Thomas and Karinn Rothe.
Community Partner: Iskashtaa Refugee Harvesting Network

February 9 – 26, 2012

Zuzi’s Theater
738 N. 5TH Avenue


written by Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig

directed by Eva Tessler

“If Henrik Ibsen had been alive in the era of Guantanamo,
he’d surely have written a play every bit as scintillating as Lidless..”.
—The Scotsman, August 2010

Winner of the Yale Drama Series Award for Playwriting in 2009

Read the Tucson Sentinel’s review of Borderlands’ production of Lidless: “Lidless’ asks hard questions through hard-edged theatre.”

A searingly poetic and incisively political play that explores the nature of trauma, the conflicting eroticism and brutality of violence, and the blurry line between revenge and redemption — It has been fifteen years since Alice served in the U.S. Army at Guantánamo Bay and she has successfully reinvented herself and suppressed all memories of her prior life, living contentedly with her husband and teenage daughter. Until Bashir, a Pakistani Muslim, shows up at Alice’s flower shop and asks for an unusual request. His visit sets into motion a series of visceral and spiritual encounters among six characters whose lives will be forever connected and defined by a single act of inhumanity.

Read more about LIDLESS…

April 5-22

Zuzi’s Theater
738 N. 5TH Avenue