October 5, 2020
Borderlands Theater in Tucson, Arizona will honor dramatist Silviana Wood with two special events. The University of Arizona Press published a collection of Wood’s plays, Barrio Dreams, edited by Norma Elia Cantú and Rita E. Urquijo-Ruiz.
Amor de Hijua is a drama about four generations in a working class family set in Arizona. When Consuelo’s father dies her mother, Doña Cuquita, rapidly deteriorates turning Consuelo’s world upside down as she is pulled between taking care of her mother and the needs of her own family.
The tribute features Tucson elders who recount oral histories and discuss the life and achievements of Wood as playwright, performer, and culture bearer, within the context of the Chicano resistance movement in Tucson.
The event is hosted by Borderlands Theater’s Veronica Conran and features historian and community organizer, Lupe Castillo; community organizers Ramona Grijalva and Annie Lopez; Borderlands Theater founder and Teatro Libertad member, Barclay Goldsmith; Teatro Libertad members, Teresa Jones, Arturo Martinez, and Francisco Medina; Mujeres que Escriben co-founder, Valerina Quintana; and of course, guest of honor, Silviana Wood.
A writer, activist, performer, teacher, single mother, and in many ways, folklorist of the Mexican-American border culture of Southern Arizona, Silviana Wood is the first and only Chicana from Arizona to have a published anthology of her plays. Her mastery of code-switching in the barrio vernacular known as caló – a dynamic mixing of Spanish, English, and Spanglish – can only be compared to the African-American vernacular in the plays of August Wilson. Her wit and word play rivals that of legendary Mexican performers Cantinflas and Tin Tan. Addressing issues of social justice, linguistic marginalization, oppression, class, gender and sexuality, the dramatic works of Silviana Wood resonate as much today as when they were first written and produced.