Borderless: A Series of Collaborations Across Campus and Beyond



Borderless is a series curated by the University of Iowa Department of Theatre Arts that is dedicated to producing an array of theatrical works representative of the diversity of experiences essential for students, faculty, administrators, and greater Iowa City community members to encounter onstage. As a predominantly-white institution (PWI), this initiative emerged in spring 2020 under the name “Diverse Voices” and has been renamed Borderless in the fall of 2020 to more clearly embrace its essential pillar: collaboration. We’re dedicated to working beyond the walls of the Theatre Building and permeating borders between university departments, across campus, and to the professional theatre world.

Borderless aims to a) provide a tailored, collaborative theatrical experience to an artist sharing a unique perspective, b) the opportunity for our students to work alongside an artist outside of the university, c) encourage collaboration with students and faculty of other departments and programs on campus, and d) introduce audiences that are regular Department of Theatre Arts production attendees as well as new theatregoers to view a compelling event told from a what will hopefully be a new perspective.

The inaugural event of the series was a staged reading and discussion of Reconciliation by Marisa Carr (Turtle Mountain Ojibwe) in the spring of 2020.

Meeting the Moment: Cuba Then & Now

Saturday, February 5 at 4:00 p.m. CST
Zoom (additional information coming soon)

The Department of Theatre Arts invites you to join us for a panel discussion about Cuban performance, art, and cultural memory in conjunction with María Irene Fornés’s Letters from Cuba.

Panelists will include:
Natalie Villamonte Zito (director of Letters from Cuba)
Caridad Svich (award-winning playwright, translator, and editor)
Fredo Rivera (art and architectural historian, assistant professor of art history at Grinnell College, and drag performer)

Queer History Roundtable: How we teach each other

Saturday, February 12 at 4:00 p.m.
Zoom (additional information coming soon)

In conjunction with Ann Kreitman’s England’s Splendid Daughters, part of the Iowa Directors Festival, we invite you to join a group of artists and scholars for a roundtable discussion of how queer history is shared and taught outside of academic spaces. As marginalized histories have their own methods of preservation and teaching, we will discuss the passing of stories, objects, embodied history, and how art is often at the center of this sharing.  

Panelists will include:
T.J. Dedeaux-Norris (UI assistant professor, painting and drawing)
Kim Marra (UI professor emeritus, theatre arts and American studies)
Christopher-Rasheem McMillan (assistant professor of dance and gender, women’s and sexuality studies)
Aiden Bettine (community and student life archivist residency librarian, University of Iowa; LGBTQ Iowa Archives & Library)
Moderated by Ann Kreitman (playwright and director of England’s Splendid Daughters)

FUBU Open Mic

Friday, February 18 at 9:00 p.m.
UnImpaired Dry Bar - Iowa City (125 E. Burlington Street)

An open mic/cabaret in collaboration with the Department of Theatre and Afro House celebrating diverse artistic expression. In the tradition of NYC’s Nuyorican Poets Cafe and D.C.’s Busboys and Poets, this event will feature poetry, dance, acting, rapping, and other art forms from Black artists on campus. Headliners include J.D. Kidd, Steven A Willis, Issac Addai, the cast of Isaiah Reeves’ Gwenevere, and more! There will also be slots for folks to sign up and share their art that night.

This event is hosted in collaboration with the Afro-American Cultural Center.

Borderless: I'm Writing to You Today

I'm Writing to You Today
Created by Ann Kreitman
August 18-September 26, 2021
(original premiere April 1-30, 2021)

I'm Writing to You Today is an environmental audio experience that will lead you through campus in the footsteps of our queer ancestors. Listeners will be able to go alone or in pairs to reimagine campus as the backdrop for historical queer love letters. This outdoor experience will begin at the University of Iowa Theatre Building (200 N. Riverside Drive, Iowa City, Iowa) and will last approximately one hour. The podcast was available for digital download on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

I'm Writing to You Today is a gift to the LGBTQ+ community of Iowa, celebrating the fact that we always have and always will find our path to love.

This experience was created in collaboration with the Pride Alliance Center.

Ann Kreitman is a first year MFA candidate in directing and certificate candidate in Gender, Women's, and Sexuality Studies. Ann has presented work in Chicago, New York City, and Philadelphia, and specializes in creating original theatrical events with a focus on lesbian and queer history-telling and mythmaking. She is an associate member of the Stage Directors and Choreographer's Society and formerly served as the Co-Artistic Director of (re)discover theatre. Her portfolio can be viewed at

Borderless: Celebrating Indigenous Theatre

"Celebrating Indigenous Theatre” is a roundtable and Q&A session with renowned Indigenous theatre artists: Ty Defoe (Giizhiig, Ojibwe + Onieda Nations), Mary Kathryn Nagle (Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma), Madeline Sayet (Mohegan), and Rhiana Yazzie (Navajo). This conversation will be moderated by Morgan Grambo, MFA ‘20, and is produced in conjunction with the Latino Native American Cultural Center’s Native American Heritage Month events.

Join us for a conversation about the past, present, and future of Indigenous theatre.

“Celebrating Indigenous Theatre” is open to University students, faculty, and staff. The roundtable occurred on Zoom on Sunday, November 15, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. CST. This event was held in collaboration with the Latino Native American Cultural Center.

Borderless: Ghost Limb

Ghost Limb
By Marisela Treviño Orta
Consuelo’s son, Javier - an artist and activist - is forcibly disappeared by the military dictatorship of Argentina in 1977. She now must race to find him. Marisela Treviño Orta’s haunting play Ghost Limb draws upon the myth of Persephone and Demeter to call forth the story of the lives of those destroyed by the Dirty War.

This piece includes violent descriptions of war and torture.

Marisela Treviño Orta is a graduate of the Iowa Playwrights Workshop, a Core Writer at the Playwrights’ Center, and under commission by Audible. Her awards include the 2006 Chicano/Latino Literary Prize in Drama, 2009 Pen Center USA Literary Award in Drama, 2013 National Latino Playwriting Award, and 2019 Kendeda Finalist. Her plays have been presented at Arizona Theatre Company, Brava Theater, Halcyon Theatre, Kitchen Dog Theater, Milagro, New Jersey Repertory Company, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and Shotgun Players. Her produced plays include Braided Sorrow, Ghost Limb, Heart Shaped Nebula, Somewhere, The River Bride, Wolf at the Door, and Woman on Fire.

A virtual reading and post-show discussion took place on Sunday, October 4, 2020 at 4:00 p.m. This event was held in collaboration with the Latino Native American Cultural Center.

Diverse Voices: Reconciliation

By Marisa Carr

In a dystopian future, the United States government has initiated a “Truth and Reconciliation” process with Indigenous peoples – and lack of compliance is a federal crime. One woman with nothing left to lose challenges the charge of “Failure to Reconcile” and fights for her life. Is reconciliation possible? And if so, at what cost?

Marisa Carr is playwright who recently transplanted to Chicago after a decade in the Twin Cities. Her work has been presented and/or produced by theaters including: The Guthrie, Pillsbury House + Theater, the Playwrights’ Center, Intermedia Arts, and Pangea World Theatre. Selected recent awards and honors include: Scratchpad at the Playwrights' Realm (2019-2020), P73 Finalist (2019-20), Bay Area Playwrights’ Festival Finalist (2019), McKnight Fellowship in Playwriting Finalist (2019), Jerome Artist Fellowship Finalist (2019), Lila Acheson Wallace Playwriting Fellowship Semi-finalist (2019), Berkeley Rep Ground Floor Residency (2018), Forward Flux Three New American Plays Commission (2018), Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant (2017), Playwrights’ Center Many Voices Fellow (2016-17), Naked Stages Fellow at Pillsbury House + Theater (2015), and “Best New Political Playwright” (Lavender Magazine, 2014). Marisa is also Co-Founder/former Artistic Director of the Turtle Theater Collective, a Twin Cities-based company committed to producing high-quality, contemporary work that explores Native experiences and subverts expectations about how and when Native artists can create theater. She is Turtle Mountain Ojibwe from the Turtle clan.

A public reading and post-show discussion curated by Morgan Grambo, MFA '20 took place on Sunday, March 8, 2020 at 4:00 p.m. in the Alan MacVey Theatre.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa sponsored-events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact the Department of Theatre Arts in advance at 319-335-2700.