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Theatre of the Borderlands

Conflict, Violence, and Healing

Iani del Rosario Moreno

Theater of the Borderlands: Conflict, Violence, and Healing is an enlightening and encompassing study that focuses on how dramatists from the Northern Mexico border territories utilize theater as a means to present the US-Mexico Borderlands in a sociohistorical and political context. By dealing with both universal and timely themes, such as immigration reform, the indigenous, violence, Border crossings, and more, this invaluable interdisciplinary resource grants eye-opening insight to Border relations through several critical dramaturgical readings.
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Lexington Books
Pages: 310Size: 6 x 9 1/8
978-0-7391-6866-0 • Hardback • May 2015 • $90.00 • (£60.00)
978-1-4985-1807-9 • Paperback • April 2017 • $49.99 • (£32.95)
978-0-7391-6867-7 • eBook • May 2015 • $49.99 • (£32.95)
Iani Moreno is associate professor of Spanish and Portuguese at Suffolk University where she also directs university productions of contemporary Latin American plays.
CHAPTER 1. Invisible Journeys to the Land of the Free
chapter 2. The Indigenous World: A Theatre of Resistance
chapter 3. The Desert Voice that Clamors for Popular Saints and Miraculous Souls
CHAPTER 4. Narcoteatro: An Aesthetic of Fear
CHAPTER 5. The Ciudad Juárez Tragedy: Maquiladora Dreams and City Demons
CHAPTER 6. Tijuana: A Journey to Paradox
This is a book about theater in the context of space, specifically the borderland between Mexico and the US, a contended space once considered by the Spanish empire too remote to control. Now the US and Mexican cultures have converged to become 'Amexica,' a conflicted land with profound scars. In each of this book's five chapters Moreno explores a topic attached to a specific population: indigenous groups identified with tribes that inhabited the area before the Spanish arrived; the border crossers with their religious syncretism, trusting saints, and other holy figures to protect them across the desert; the narcos and their violence; women trapped in the world of the maquiladoras or killed by members of sadistic cults in Ciudad Juárez; and, finally, the world of Tijuana, an evolving 'transfrontier' metropolis. The plays discussed showcase the encounter of these unique subcultures, climatic moments providing a background against which frontier people define their daily struggle to survive. Detailed description of the plays and ancillary sociological and historical information are included, bringing the reader into the plays' thematic complexity. A bibliography points to additional interesting sources. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty.

Theatre of the Borderlands: Conflict, Violence, and Healing is an insightful and largely overdue study on Mexican theater written and mainly produced in the US-Mexico borderlands. This book makes an important contribution to studies on Mexican Theater as well as Border Studies and Performance Studies, and does so with intellectual engagement coupled with perceptive subjectivity on the subject matter … A must read for anyone interested in understanding the many hardships and violent realities of Mexican migrants whose stories continue to be marginalized by mainstream narratives in both Mexico and the United States.

Linda Saborío, Northern Illinois University

Iani Moreno’s seminal study adeptly interweaves theatrical and real-life stories to expose the genuine drama that takes place on the US-Mexican border and the trauma it provokes. Dr. Moreno’s well-informed presentation of more than thirty border plays highlights these innovative and engaging theatrical works at the same time that it documents the physical, psychological, and political tragedies of this historically turbulent region.
Gail A. Bulman, Syracuse University