Borderlands Children’s Theatre : Historical Developments and Emergence of Chicana/o/Mexican-American Youth Theatre book cover
1st Edition

Borderlands Children’s Theatre
Historical Developments and Emergence of Chicana/o/Mexican-American Youth Theatre

ISBN 9780367559045
Published March 4, 2022 by Routledge
174 Pages 22 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This book chronicles the child performer as part of the Chicana/o/Mexican-American theatre experience.

Borderlands Children’s Theatre explores the phenomenon of the Chicana/o/Mexican-American child performer at the center of Chicana/o and Latina/o theatre culture. Drawing from historical and contemporary theatrical traditions to finally the emergence of Latina/o Youth Theatre and Latina/o Theatre for Young Audiences, it raises crucial questions about the role of the child in these performative contexts and about how childhood and adolescence was experienced and understood. Analyzing contemporary plays for Chicana/o/Mexican-American child performer, it introduces theorizations of "performing mestizaje" and "border crossing" borderlands performance, gender, and ethnic identity and investigates theatre as a site in which children and youth have the opportunity to articulate their emerging selfhoods.

This book adds to the national and international dialogue in theatre and gives voice to Chicana/o/Mexican-American children and youth and will be of great interest to students and scholars of Theatre studies and Latina/o studies.

Table of Contents






  • Performing Mestizaje: Memory, Body, and Land
  • A Note on the Structure of This Book

Chapter 1: An Overview of United States Children’s Theatre and the Western Concept of Childhood

    1. Understanding Children’s Theatre in the United States
    2. U.S. Children’s Theatre/TYA and the Convergence of Latina/o Theatre for Young Audiences (LTYA)
    3. Changing Cultural Conceptions of Children and Youth

Chapter 2: Historical Context of Borderlands Children’s Theatre: An Overview of Traditional and Contemporary Chicana/o/Mexican-American Theatre Practices

    1. Pre-Columbian and Mesoamerican Rituals, Celebrations, and Roles of Children
    2. Southwest Hispanic Theatre 1821-1950 and Spanish-language theatre from the 1930s to the 1950s
    3. Chicana/o Movement 1960-1979: Theatre, Education, and Political Mobilization
    4. Emergence of Chicana/o Children’s Theatre and Latina/o Theatre for Young Audiences, 1960 to the Present

Chapter 3: Theorizing a Border Crossing Subject/Self

    1. Border Theory
    2. Border Theory y Mujer Feminista
    3. Border Theory and Theatre
    4. Psycho/Social Theory: Ethnic Identity in the Borderlands

Chapter 4: An Application of Border Theories and Psycho/Social Theory: Analysis of Chicana/o Drama for Children and Youth

  1. Alicia in Wonder Tierra (or I Can’t Eat Goat Head): Quest for Mestiza Consciousness
  2. Farolitos of Christmas: Generational Borders
  3. The Highest Heaven: Beyond Borders
  4. No saco nada de la escuela: Border Politics of Education
  5. Simply María or The American Dream: Border-Crossing Dreamer
  6. The Drop Out: Borderline At-Risk Student
  7. The Border-Crossing Subject/Self and Ethnic Production

Chapter 5: Borderlands Theatrical Legacies: Antecedents and the Future

    1. Writing for Chicana/o Children and Youth: Playwright’s Reflections
    2. Summary
    3. Conclusion: Advocacy for the Millennium and Expressing New Trends for Chicana/o/Mexican-American Young Audiences



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Dr. Cecilia Josephine Aragón is Professor of Theatre and Dance, and Latina/o Studies in the School of Culture, Gender, and Social Justice at the University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming, USA. Aragón currently serves as Area Head of Theatre for Young Audiences/Theatre Education and Executive Director of Wyoming Latina Youth Center.