Watsonville/Circle in the Dirt by Cherrie Moraga
In this third volume of plays by Cherríe Moraga to be published by West End Press, we confront the changing California landscape of the 1990s, as anti-immigrant, anti-youth, and English Only legislation sweeps across the farmworker towns and multi-racial urban communities of the state. Both plays were developed through interviews conducted with residents in the two towns of Watsonville and East Palo Alto. Both towns stand in the shadow of the first world culture of the University: East Palo Alto is a poor neighbor of Stanford University south of San Francisco, while Watsonville, further south, has seen the University of California at Santa Cruz devour the nearby Pacific coastline. These plays document the incursion of the white world of power and authority into poor, racially mixed communities. But they are more than reports of the times. In vividly realized drama, Moraga shows the communities mounting their own bold resistance to cultural domination and the threat of economic enslavement. The indigenous and feminist consciousness of the two communities brings them together to struggle against their oppressors, from within and without. In the spirit of Salt of the Earth, but moving to the beat of modern times, Moraga returns to the drama of social consciousness that is one of the major functions of her radical feminist voice.