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Borderlands Theater Presents WEST SIDE STORIES

Borderlands Theater presents West Side Stories, written by Veronica Weatherbie, with contributions from Patricia Preciado Martin, Milta Ortiz, Silviana Wood, and Marc David Pinate, edited by Milta Ortiz, and directed by Jonathan Heras and Marc David Pinate. The theater festival will take place from Thursday to Sunday from April 20-30, 2023. Pre-show picnics and activities begin at 6:00 PM. The main stage show begins at 7:45 PM at Bonita Park at 20 N. Bonita Avenue.

theater festival

West Side Stories gives audiences the chance to dine al fresco with their loved ones. Experience local stories told through interactive game shows, heritage talk circles, walkthroughs of augmented reality installations, and shadow box installations. Before play begins!

Heritage-based theater festivals are fun for all ages. Intended to be shared with family and friends. Event to select a payment method for ease of access. We recommend booking online: First come, first served. Free parking is available on Bonita Avenue. Accessible by bus number 21 and 22.

Bring your own chairs, blankets, ice chests, food, whatever you bring to the park. West Side Stories is a non-alcoholic event.


picnic with family and friends

The festival celebrates West Side pride and invites spectators to create special family recipes to enjoy with family and friends. If you don’t have it, check out our website for Sonorense classic Chile con Carne Colorada. If you don’t have time to cook, we recommend choosing dinner from traditional West Side restaurants such as Pat’s, Tania’s, St. He Mary’s, and Marisco Chihuahua. Or you can go to the local food his truck and buy dinner.

Garden of Gethsemane shadow box installation

Digital animation and shadow theater techniques inspired by shadow box art tell the story of Felix Lucero and the battlefield promise that inspired him to carve the statues that grace the gardens of Gethsemane on the banks of the Santa Cruz River. I’m here. Under the Congress Street Bridge.

Augmented reality experience

(Co-sponsored by the Arizona State Museum) Browse photo galleries depicting the people and places of the West in the 1940s, 50s and 60s on your smartphone. Holograms of people from the past tell stories of life on the Westside.

Community Land Trust Game Show

(Co-sponsored by Pima County Community Land Trust and UA Theater students)

A humorous and interactive game show that challenges audience participants and tests their knowledge to keep their neighborhoods from gentrifying. A fun way to learn how the Community Land Trust works to secure affordable housing in your neighborhood.

heritage talk circle

Lifelong Westside Elders share their experiences living, working and organizing on the Westside. Inspired by indigenous storytelling traditions, talk circles are places for all to listen, ask questions, reminisce and share. We are proud to introduce the following Heritage speakers.

Thursday, April 20th

Armando Rodriguez discusses the 1-C Americanization program and growth in Menlo Park.

Friday, April 21st

Patsy Lee remembers her father’s store, Allan’s Market, in Barrio Hollywood.

Sunday, April 23rd

Margo Cowan tells the story of an organized community on the West Side,

Manzo District Council

Friday, April 28th

Barbara Lewis and her brother George Hollins share a Westside African-American perspective.

Sunday, April 30th

Sixto Molina recalls his time at the Tucson Police Department and assignment to the Adam Wang Community Policing Project.


The Barrio Stories Project was born out of an impulse to honor and celebrate Tucson’s historic Mexican-American Barrios. West Side Stories has deep roots in Westside and is run by professional artists working with current and former residents of the area. Borderlands artists formed a steering committee.f west side resident met monthly to create a theatrical experience genuine to west side.

At the heart of the festival is the desire to share a piece of the West Side’s rich history from the voices of its residents. Residents were interviewed to create the plays and installations that make up the festival. recurring theme in oral history Reflecting the state of the inhabitants of the barrio supported each other survive and build community, whether it was upright adobe house, watch over each other’s children Or credit Chinese grocery storeWe provide it generously.

Westside Stories is a collaborative production. residents, artists, municipalities, education and community service organization.Project partners include City of Tucson Parks and Recreation advising the Borderlands Theater on the use of Bonita Park and completing a major renovation of the Garden of Gethsemane. Tucson City Council District 1, which provides advice and sponsors the festival. The Pima County Community Land Trust provided technical expertise and worked with UA students to create the Community Land Trust game show. The Arizona State Museum worked with the UA Center for Digital Humanities to create an augmented reality experience based on archival photographic research conducted by the Borderlands Theater.

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