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Chólas from the OC: Found learning in cross-cultural performance

This thesis examines a Readers Theater about social issues related to young Latina gangsters. During the Spring 2013 semester, four student actresses from Orange County performed in a Readers Theater titled Bellicose at three nationally recognized speech and debate tournaments and two college campus fundraisers at the college in which they attend. Two of the four actresses were not raised in Latina households and none of them have been directly exposed to gang violence. This thesis presents an analysis supporting cross-cultural performance as a useful pedagogical strategy that increases student learning, community building, and social advocacy. Throughout the course of their journey, the actresses appear to demonstrate that they obtained an antiracist education through the medium of a cross-cultural performance approach that promotes visceral learning, social bonding, and embodiments of challenging social change.