Current Season


A virtual new moon literary lounge.

Wednesday April 22 @ 6 pm!

Livestreamed on Borderlands Theater Facebook and Youtube page! And on Galeria de La Raza’s Instagram page!

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For two decades Lunadas have fortified Bay Area communities on the full moon. During this time of the Covid19 crisis Lunadas go virtual and move to the new moon, a time for intention setting and realignment. Recognizing the need to pull together Galería de la Raza joins forces with Borderlands Theater and lunada founder Marc David Pinate, in a historic collaboration presenting an evening of truth telling and testimonials on the dark side of the moon. Featuring the best Latinx poets in the country the virtual Lunada promises an evening of medicine for the heart and spirit. 

*Please note: we acknowledge the open mic as an integral aspect of Lunada tradition, but unfortunately, die to limited technical capacity and overall logistics in regulating an open mic remotely, Lunada will only be featuring a curated lineup of poets and performers at this time. We hope we can continue the open mic tradition in the future, and that you can join us for this magical evening!

Season 2019/2020 Place keeping with Site Specific Theatre!

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In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Barrio Stories Nogales is postponed until further notice. Borderlands Theater and its ensemble were very much looking forward to sharing our work with you but this is not the time. We understand the necessity of physical distancing and social solidarity in doing our part to keep our most vulnerable community members safe. Barrio Stories Nogales is about community engagement and it’s not possible to engage in the way we would like at this time. Thankfully we were able to pay ensemble members for the work they have done up to this point, but there will be a loss of income. Please consider donating to local artists, organizations, and vendors. We will remount the event at a later time and your financial support is greatly appreciated.

Donate Now

Season 2019/2020 Place keeping with Site Specific Theatre!

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artwork by Adam Copper-Terán

Barrio Stories Nogales

by Borderlands Theater Ensemble

A celebration of Nogalense history and heritage featuring:

Performances, Oral Histories, & Consultation by over 100 Nogalenses!

Giant Puppets

Shadow Theatre

Video Projections

Kids Activities

Farmers Market

Live bands: La Coyota (Friday), Vox Urbana (Saturday)

April 24-25, 2020

7pm- 10pm / Audio tour pre event starts at 6:15pm

Historic Morley Ave in Downtown Nogales, AZ

Free (donations accepted)

Barrio Stories Nogales re-inhabits Morley Avenue in downtown Nogales. Experience this choose your own adventure theatrical festival!

Borderlands Ensemble: playwright, Milta Ortiz; project director/shadow puppetry, Marc David Pinate;digital media projections, Adam Cooper-Terán; giant puppet maker, Zarco Guerrero; Giant puppet director, Jonathan Heras; lighting designer, Domino Mannheim; production assistant, Veronica Conran;video installation artist. Community liaison/on-site producer, Cesar Lopez.

Barrio Stories is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. To find out more about how National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities, visit; a grant from Arizona Humanities; Southwest Folklife Alliance as partner and sponsor through a grant from ArtPlace America; the University of Arizona Confluencenter for Creative Inquiry through The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fronteridades project; Homero Torralba, Esq & Foley & Torralba, PLC.

Thanks to our collaborating partners City of Nogales, Nogales Community Development and La Linea Gallery. 

For more information and for a list of our funders and partners click here.

Their Dogs Came with Them 

by Helena Maria Viramontes

adapted for the stage by Virginia Grise

Directed by Kendra Ware

Buy Tickets HERE!

What happens to a community, and the people that live there, when a series of four intersecting freeways are built right through the heart of their neighborhood? 

From the award-winning writer of Your Healing is Killing Me, blu, The Panza Monologues and Barrio Stories, Virginia Grise returns to Tucson with a new play about the destruction and displacement of a Mexican-American community, roaming dogs, quarantines, earthmovers and ancient voladores: Their Dogs Came with Them. Adapted from the novel by Helena María Viramontes, the play ascribes new meanings to gang life dramas, gender queer identities, and Chicana/o/x coming of age barrio tales. Much like the structure of a freeway, the lives of four youth intersect and intertwine, unearthing stories about the effects and aftereffects of the Vietnam War, displacement, and state violence. Tucson, where the most diverse and densely populated neighborhoods were destroyed to create the Convention Center in the late 1960s, is an ideal site for a play that asks its community to consider how decisions around city planning and urban development impact everyone. Borderlands Theater, in collaboration with a todo dar productions, is producing this site-specific performance October 18-20, directed by Marc David Pinate and aptly staged underneath the I-19 freeway in South Tucson.  

Musical director Martha Gonzalez of the Grammy Award winning band Quetzal brings together band members Juan Perez (bass), Tylana Enomoto (violin) and legendary guitarist Bob Robles (Thee Midnighters) to perform an original score, specifically composed for the Tucson production, live at all performances. The musical score expresses the “East Los” sonic landscape of the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. The multifaceted sounds and songs of the score embody “East Los” history in an amalgamation of Mexican boleros, classic rock, doo-wop, R&B, and gospel. Like the 5, 10, and 710 freeways these sounds intersect in the heart of the Mexican American experience brought to life in Their Dogs Came with Them.  

**In an effort to make the performance accessible a golf cart is available for the 5 minute walk from parking to seating/staging area. 


In 2015, Borderlands Theater commissioned Their Dogs Came with Them with funding from the National New Play Network (NNPN.) In 2017, Grise received an Agnese Nelms Haury Visiting Fellowship from the University of Arizona and additional support from NNPN to workshop an early draft of the script with community members in Arizona whose own lived experiences mirrored the lives of many of the characters in the play. With this support, Grise began a series of theater workshops inside Perryville Women’s Prison in Goodyear, Arizona and created a unique page to stage process of development for Their Dogs Came with Them that culminated in a world premiere production at the prison’s Santa Cruz Unit in February 2019. The production team included 17 actors from inside the prison and over 20 collaborating artists from around the country. The production team at Perryville also included two inside producers, a costume designer, stage manager, run crew and a dramaturge who worked closely with Grise in developing and editing the script. In addition, set designer Tanya Orellana, choreographer Marguerite Hemmings, musical director Martha Gonzalez, and Grise taught workshops on each of their areas of expertise at the prison, in an attempt to make the process of theatre production transparent and accessible. 

In 2019, Grise received a $25,000 Mentorship Award from the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture, the largest grant ever awarded by the organization, to continue working with theater artist Manny Rivera, who originated the role of Turtle at the first table reading. Rivera will play Turtle in the Tucson production. An instrumental collaborator in the developmental process, Rivera travelled with Grise to play development workshops at Borderlands, Perryville, and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, in addition to directing one of the character tracks at Perryville. Through their collaboration, Grise and Rivera aim to continue an intergenerational conversation amongst queer communities of color exploring how artistic work can be produced across borders and beyond bars. 

Their Dogs Came with Them was commissioned by Borderlands Theater with funding from the National New Play Network.This production is supported in part by the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Ford Foundation, Southwest Airlines, and the Surdna Foundation through a grant from the NALAC Fund for the Arts Grant Program with additional funding from theNational Endowment for the Arts and the Latinx Theater Commons’ El Fuego Initiative, Southwest Folklife Alliance, and The College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Arizona. The script was developed with the generous support of the Princess Grace Foundation, Humanities Behind the Walls, the Projecting All Voices Fellowship at Arizona State University, and a Network of Ensemble Theaters Travel Grant.

Buy tickets HERE!

Click below to watch the video trailer!

Adapted from THEIR DOGS CAME WITH THEM. Copyright © 2007 by Helena María Viramontes.