Defiant Acts: Hispanic Theatre in Translation

This is a course from a previous year. View the current courses

This course will explore the full spectrum of 20th – century and contemporary theatre in the Spanish-speaking world, though it will focus primarily on Latin American authors, including U.S. Latino playwrights. We will read plays to identify preoccupations and generic characteristics as theatre evolves and moves between the conventional theatrical space and the street, enclosed theatres and theatre for the enclosed. In the process we will address a wide swath of ideas, on gender, class, freedom and totalitarianism, innovation and the boundaries of identity. Students will be introduced to some fundamental figures such as Rodolfo Usigli, Emilio Carballido, Ariel Dorfman, Sabina Berman and Diana Raznovic, as well as basic concepts and figures of the 20th century, as well as Augusto Boal’s concept of an engaged theatre, investigate the work of FOMMA (Fortaleza de la Mujer Maya) and similar contemporary collectives. And we will read plays as plays, as literature and as texts intended for performance on a stage.

At the same time students will have the option (not a requirement) to explore creative practices through engagement with different community organizations: schools, a retirement home, etc. Students are encouraged to apply concepts learned in a class workshop to their internships, and to bring their ideas and reflections on their weekly practices for discussion in class. NO Spanish required. NO expertise in theatre required though theatre students are very welcome.