The Panza Monologues, Second Edition

[ Latina/o Studies ]

The Panza Monologues, Second Edition

Written, Compiled, and Collected by Virginia Grise and Irma Mayorga

With the full performance script and a wealth of materials for producing, teaching, and using the play to build community, The Panza Monologues reveals important truths about women and body image, as well as Chicana cultural production and its material realities.

January 2014


33% website discount price


6 x 9 | 191 pp.

ISBN: 978-0-292-75405-8

The Panza Monologues is an original solo performance piece based on women's stories about their panzastú sabes—that roll of belly we all try to hide. Written, compiled, and collected by Virginia Grise and Irma Mayorga and fashioned into a tour-de-force solo performance, The Panza Monologues features the words of Chicanas speaking with humor and candor. Their stories boldly place the panza front and center as a symbol that reveals the lurking truths about women's thoughts, lives, loves, abuses, and living conditions.

This second edition of The Panza Monologues presents the performance script in its entirety, as well as a rich supporting cast of dramaturgical and pedagogical materials. These include a narrative history of the play’s development by the playwrights; critical materials that enhance and expand upon the script’s themes and ideas (a short introduction to San Antonio, where the play was developed; playwright autogeographies; and a manifesto on women of color making theater); and a selection of pedagogical and creative ideas, including guidelines and advice for staging a production of the play and for teaching it in the classroom, community-making activities (screenings, hosting “Panza Parties,” community/group discussions), and creative writing activities connected to the play.

For more information on the book and the play, visit

Foreword by Dr. Tiffany Ana López

Muchas Many Thank-Yous to All Our Panza Allies

Introducción to the Second Edition

Organization of the Book

One/Uno: The Panza Monologues: From Cuentos to DVD

Dos/Two: Script of The Panza Monologues

The Panza Monologues


A Chronological Production History of The Panza Monologues

Three/Tres: Tejana Topographies

Un Mapa de San Antonio by Debora Kuetzpal Vasquez Introduction

San Antonio Paint(ed) by Numbers


Virginia Grise

Irma Mayorga

Cuatro/Four: A DIY Production Manual


Guidelines, Advice, and Good Wishes for Staging a Production of The Panza Monologues

Permission to Stage the Play

Royalties for Staging the Play

Promotional Materials for/from Your Production

Notes for Staging Your Production

Beyond the Play: Your Event

Para que nunca más nos vuelvan a borrar: Conciencia

Feminil, a Closer Look at the Practice of Panza Positive Activism

Permissions and Royalty Request Sample Letter for The Panza Monologues

Panza Checklist: Planning Your Production

Tupperware Meets Telenovela: Panza Parties


Panza Party Sample Information Email

Panza Checklist: Planning Your Panza Party

Contact information

Five/Cinco: Pedagogy of the Panza: A Reading, Creative Writing, and Discussion Guide for The Panza Monologues


Topics for Discussion and Activities Based on The Panza Monologues

Before Reading/Screening

After Reading/Screening

Internet Research Activities

Obesity in the United States

Body Image

Cultural Mapping

Creative Writing Activities Based on The Panza Monologues

Some Thoughts on Free-Writing

Creating Monologues


Writing with Personal Photographs


Ten Steps for Creating Documentary-Style Theater

Further Reading

Panza Pilón: A Manifesto for Panza Positive Chicana Cultural Production


Additional Art Credits



Tejana, San Antonio native, and Army brat, Irma Mayorga is a scholar and award-winning playwright, whose work in theater also includes directing and dramaturgy. She is Assistant Professor of Theater at Dartmouth College and has also served as a cultural worker in numerous people of color arts and community organizations.

A theatre artist, playwright, solo performer, and performance artist, Grise is a member of the Women’s Project Playwrights’ Lab and a recipient of the Princess Grace Award in Theatre Directing and the Playwrights’ Center’s Jerome Fellowship. Her play blu received the Yale Drama Series Award and was published by Yale University Press. Her other plays include Making Myth, Cuerpo Descubierto, rasgos asiaticos, and a farm for meme.

“This is the most original and historically documented theatre project to date in Latina/o theatre. . . . It is a lesson in making theatre matter, and it spotlights how theatre is informed by lived experiences and historical processes. . . . Cultural workers, students, and scholars will enjoy and benefit from this important study. As far as I know, there are no other books like this one.”
—Alberto Sandoval-Sánchez, Professor of Spanish and Latina/o Studies, Mount Holyoke College, author of José, Can You See? Latinos On and Off Broadway and coauthor of Stages of Life: Transcultural Performance and Identity in U.S. Latina Theatre

From The Panza Monologues as performed by Virginia Grise:



Music:  "Con Todo Mi Ser" by Eva Ybarra