On the Edge

Blending Cultures

"But the border is more than an arbitrary line distinguishing two nations from one another; it is a region where cultural exchange is the norm and nations’ identities are blurred." -Texas Monthly 

This play takes place in the fictional Texan border town of La Plancha. The area around the Mexican/American border features a fascinating blend of cultures. This production embraces the overlapping of Mexican and American identities in a border town, and the diversity found within Latin American culture.

Director KJ Sanchez talks about cultural identities in the play

Life in a Border Town

“[The] border serves as a metaphor for the tenuous boundary between life and death, between reality and fiction, between the person we wished we were and who we actually are.”  -Sonia Fernandez, Cal Shakes

La Plancha may be a fictional border town, but its nuances and details resonate deeply with the artists who bring it to life on stage. Several members of the creative team, including playwright Octavio Solis, grew up in border towns.

 

Quixote's adventures relocate easily from the outskirts of Madrid to the outskirts of the southern United States- aside from their arid, dusty similarities, both are full of love, loss, culture, and contradiction. 

Emilio discusses the important cultural aspect of the show

The Evolution of the Border

Pamela Colloff covers personal stories of the dangerous border scrubland known as El Desierto de los Muertos. 

The border wasn't always like it is today. Centuries of colonialism, revolutions, manifest destiny, and economic initiatives like the Bracero Programhave shaped and reshaped the lines between U.S. and Mexico- as well as what those lines mean. Watch the video to see borders develop and shift throughout the years in this animated timeline of North America. 

The Border Crossed Us

The saying, "We didn't cross the border, the border crossed us" is popular among contemporary Mexican-American activists. It is in response to the racially-charged direction to "go back to where you came from."

 

Watch the video for Octavio Solis' reflections on the topic, and the collective amnesia around Latinos in America. 

Copyright Alley Theatre Education & Community Engagement 2015.