Circle in the Dirt

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Circle in the Dirt: El Pueblo de East Palo Alto is a 1995 play by Cherríe Moraga. It is set in East Palo Alto, California, a community in the San Francisco Bay Area. Circle in the Dirt and the 1996 play Watsonville were published together in a single book by the West End Press.[1]

The story takes place on the day of a scheduled demolition of two buildings in East Palo Alto.[2] As a result, it is the dissolution of a racially diverse community.[1] In the play the characters discuss national events in the past and question the future.[2]

The play, along with Watsonville, uses dialog that is a mixture of English and Spanish to paraphrase the content of the interviews conducted by Moraga; most of the actual interviews were done entirely in Spanish.[3]


  • La Capitana - She is a Mexican Muwekma woman who discusses how Native Americans previously lived on what is now East Palo Alto and how the remains of her ancestors are housed at Stanford University. Lisa B. Thompson of the Theatre Journal wrote that she is "aging and ageless".[2]
  • One African-American woman states that when her children were in integrated schools the children had academic improvement but were psychologically harmed.[2]
  • An elderly white husband and wife[2]
  • A 12-year-old female Samoan American[2]
  • A middle-aged immigrant from Mexico[2]



  1. ^ a b Pareles, p. 43.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Thompson, p. 524.
  3. ^ Pareles, p. 144.

Further reading[edit]

  • (in Spanish) Pignataro, Margarita Elena del Carmen (Arizona State University PhD thesis). "Religious hybridity and female power in "Heart of the Earth: A Popol Vuh Story" and other theatrical works by Cherrie Moraga." (Spanish: El hibridismo religioso y la fuerza femenina en 'Heart of the Earth: A Popul Vuh Story' y otras obras teatrales de Cherríe Moraga) (Dissertation/Thesis). 01/2009, ISBN 9781109102925. UMI Number: 3353695. - This work has an abstract in English and is written in the Spanish language.

External links[edit]