About Barrio Stories Project

Research : February May, 2015

Beginning in February, 2015, ethnographers from BARA and nine youth from Pima College’s Upward Bound program, interviewed former residents of the demolished neighborhood. In May, 2015, at the Sosa-Carrillo-Fremont House Museum, the youth-scholars presented a series of monologues to the community based on their interviews.

Writing : July December, 2015

Over the summer of 2015, award-winning playwrights, Elaine Romero (Tucson), Virginia Grise (New York) and Martín Zimmerman (Chicago), under the consultation of historian, Dr. Lydia Otero, began the work of turning the collected oral histories into a theatrical script.

Production : March 2016

Barrio Stories was a site-specific, theatrical event presented on the grounds of the Tucson Convention Center’s outdoor Plaza. Audience members were led on a walking tour of the actual space where this recovered history occurred as communal memories came to life, revealing the people, place, and culture of the barrio past. Barrio Stories took place March 3-6, 2016, as part of Borderlands’ 30th anniversary season.  Post-performance activities, created a space for barrio residents to publicly articulate their claims to history and place. Barrio Stories continues to present an innovative approach to historic preservation and civic dialogue unlike any other in the nation.