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Cross-Border Collaborations: A Selective Sampling

Some companies that have made U.S./Mexico theatrical exchanges central to their work.

There are more partnerships that cross the border than could be mentioned in Georgina Escobar’s article. Here is a sampling:

  • The Play Company (PlayCo) of New York City presents the world premiere this month of the Por Piedad Teatro collaboration The Duchamp Syndrome, by director/performers Antonio Vega and Ana Graham. This relationship between PlayCo and Por Piedad Teatro’s began in 2013; Por Piedad Teatro previously collaborated with PlayCo on Working on a Special Day, which enjoyed a four-week run at 59E59 in the winter of 2013.
  • México/US Playwright Exchange program, founded in 2006, is a collaboration between New York’s Lark Play Development Center and Mexico’s National Fund for Culture and Arts (FONCA). Led by Andrea Thome, this exchange has fostered artists like Xavier Villanova (playwright), Victor Hugo Rascón Banda (playwright), Carmen Rivera (translator) and Caridad Svich (translator).
  • HotINK at the Lark, a program co-curated by Catherine Coray and Lisa Rothe, pairs playwrights and translators in a week-long workshop with the help of directors and actors. The collaborations culminate in a new English translation of the play.
  • Borderlands Theater in Tucson, Ariz., received a travel grant from TCG in 1999, which allowed the company to travel to México and start the US/México program. A notable project from the program is “Un Encuentro: Theatre of and for the Borderlands/Teatro de la Frontera.” This encounter featured back-to-back performances that were created in response to the subject of border violence.
  • Miracle Theatre Group (Teatro Milagro) in Portland, Ore., produces work that helps further the performance of Latinidad by mounting bilingual productions as well as commissioning international collaborations with companies like La Comedia Humana (Mexico City) and Hand2Mouth (Portland).
  • Jesús Quintero and Ramón Verdugo of Tijuana Hace Teatro are now working with a group of San Diego theatres on their innovative Audience School program, which received considerable attention during TCG’s 2014 pre-conference in Tijuana. This program is an example of how exchanges can happen within the audience, not just onstage.

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