The Portuguese in the Americas Series aims to contribute to the growing field of Portuguese-American Studies. The Series documents the variety and complexity of the Portuguese-American experience by publishing works in the social sciences, history and literature.
Two Portuguese-American Plays
University of Massachusetts Press
Two Portuguese-American Plays
Amarelo & Through a Portagee Gate
Patricia A. Thomas, ed., Paulo A. Pereira, Patricia A. Thomas

Tagus Press at UMass Dartmouth

2007 . 170 pp. 6 x 9"
Theater & Performing Arts / Immigration

$17.95 Paperback, 978-1-933227-21-4


“ a look into the past, Through a Portagee Gate feels neither sentimental nor syrupy. Its nostalgia is genuine and its characters authentic. It’s a pleasure to see local history theatricalized with such obvious caring. Congratulations!”
- New Bedford Standard Times

Mother/son and son/father dynamics are explored in these plays about life decisions, heritage, and identity among immigrant protagonists pursuing the American Dream in New Bedford, Massachusetts

Two Portuguese-American Plays, comprised of Through a Portagee Gate, adapted by Patricia A. Thomas from the Charles Reis Felix memoir of the same name, and Amarelo, by Paulo A. Pereira, dramatize immigrant experience in the mill-town of New Bedford, Massachusetts. Each play begins or ends there, along with visits to Escamil, California, or the tiny village of Covoada, on the island of São Miguel, the Azores. Employing contrasting dramatic techniques, both works portray unforgettable protagonics, at once charming and idiosyncratic. In Through a Portagee Gate, the Radio Ensemble at the WNBH studio in downtown New Bedford broadcasts commercials and news stories, taking us on a journey through the twentieth century; in Amarelo, “Man” poses at the explorer Gonçalo Velho, and others, as he propels the story forward through time. These plays are alive with humor, wit and sincerity drawn from the human experience.Through a Portagee Gate, the play, was commissioned by the Center for Portuguese Studies and Culture of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. Both plays were sponsored for regional performances by the Center and produced by Culture*Park Theatre of New Bedford, Massachusetts.


“The name in Portuguese means yellow, but . . . Amarelo, by Paulo Pereira, is pure gold.”
- Providence Journal


“Both plays dramatize the epic nature of immigrant assimilation with such heart and humor that, while the specific textures of New Bedford anchor these plays as capsules of a cultural moment, the dramatic action is universal to any audience with roots, namely, all of us. Pereira and Thomas excel at staging the uniquely American experience of negotiating one’s integrity when pulled by the paradoxes of immigrant identity. These are the types of plays that have tableaux that linger well after the curtain falls.”
- Tom Grady, playwright, author of?American Cocktail

The Collection