Review: THE FRONTERA PROJECT crosses borders at The Old Globe

Playing through June 4th

By: Jun. 02, 2023
Review: THE FRONTERA PROJECT crosses borders at The Old Globe

The first time I saw THE FRONTERA PROJECT, a show that explores the many wonders and contradictions of living on the US/Mexico border was through a Zoom presentation, delayed from in-person performances due to the pandemic.  Now, the show and its talented cast are live in San Diego, performing at The Old Globe through June 4th.

Created and Directed by Ramón Verdugo and Jessica Bauman, this show is comprised of music, dance, conversation, and vignettes that weave together stories that are joyous, complex, heartwarming and heartbreaking, and normal everyday routines, to create a beautiful tapestry of a narrative.

As the audience enters the show you are invited to write an answer on a banner on stage.  This is just the beginning of the audience engagement.  As the show progresses there is a section where the cast asks questions for the audience to respond to which provides a lot of insight into how common it is to have a border experience for life, work, or both.  Never fear if you are an introvert, other than writing on the banner the participation won’t have you leaving your seat.

The cast includes Lou Best, Cristóbal Dearie, Jesús Quintero, Jassiel Santillan, and Valeria Vega-Kuri all of who are warm, and engaging and perform a variety of talents from acting to singing, dancing, and playing instruments.  Musical standouts include Jassiel Santillan on the guitar and vocals, and Lou Best with some expressive singing during a group moment.

The show uses many different styles ranging from poetry accompanied by music and dance, a scene depicting the cross-border commute to get to school, and a live song that accompanies a video showing a day in the life of someone living in Tijuana.  There are also vignettes depicting experiences crossing the border, dealing with the types of treatment you get depending on the country printed on your passport, family cross-border commutes for school, and how complicated it can be to plan a Target run before you go home.

I could go on, but the show's power is in the experience and connection of it live.  It encourages connection and discussion about the lives lived on either side of one of the busiest borders in the world. It also reminds, through the use of butterflies and whales, that this way of life belonging to more than one place is not an experience isolated to humans.

THE FRONTERA PROJECT is a wonderful, bilingual, and interactive piece that is creative and compelling. In showing more nuance and depth of living in San Diego or Tijuana,  crossing the border, and exploring what is both familiar and what is different it shows that there is more than just hyperbolic sound bites on news channels to scare people.

How To Get Tickets

THE FRONTERA PROJECT is playing at The Old Globe through June 4th.  For ticket and show time information go to and to learn more about THE FRONTERA PROJECT go to 




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