By Jon D. Rossini
In modern Latina/o Theater, Jon D. Rossini explores the complicated courting among theater and the construction of ethnicity in an unheard of exam of six Latina/o playwrights and their works: Miguel Pi?ero, Luis Valdez, Guillermo Reyes, Octavio Solis, Jos? Rivera, and Cherr?e Moraga. Rossini exposes how those writers use the style as a device to bare and remodel current preconceptions approximately their culture. via “wrighting”—the triplicate means of writing performs, righting misconceptions approximately ethnic id, and developing a completely new manner of knowing Latina/o culture—these playwrights at once interfere in present conversations concerning ethnic identification, supplying the instruments for audiences to reexplore their formerly held views outdoor the theater.Examining those writers and their works in either cultural and historic contexts, Rossini finds how playwrights use the liminal area of the stage—an zone at the thresholds of either conception and reality—to “wright” new insights into Latina/o identity. They use the bounds of the theater itself to provide useful explorations of matters that can rather be mentioned purely in hugely theoretical terms.Rossini strains playwrights’ tools as they handle essentially the most hard matters dealing with modern Latinas/os in the US: from the struggles for ethnic unity and the risks of a neighborhood established in worry, to stereotypes of Latino masculinity and the problematical fusion of ethnicity and politics. Rossini discusses the looming specter of the border in theater, either as a conceptual equipment and as a literal reality—a the most important topic for contemporary Latinas/os, given fresh laws and different actions. all through, the writer attracts fascinating comparisons to the cultural limbo within which many Latinas/os locate themselves today. An critical quantity for someone attracted to drama and ethnic experiences, modern Latina/o Theater underscores the facility of theatricality in exploring and rethinking ethnicity. Rossini offers the main in-depth research of those performs up to now, supplying a groundbreaking examine the facility of playwrights to right misconceptions and create clean views on range, tradition, and identification in Latina/o the US.
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Additional info for Contemporary Latina o Theater: Wrighting Ethnicity (Theater in the Americas)
On the one hand, the fact that the Pulitzer jury awarded the prize without ever seeing the play attests to the power of language. 34 However, from another point of view, by only reading the play, the jury members not only placed it in the familiar realm of something to be read rather than fully produced (as too often happens with Latino theater) but also avoided dealing with the real complexities of casting and representing Latino bodies on the stage. The Latino body could stay safely in the space of the imagination.
While the nascent stages of an identity politics of theater demand the protected incubation of a mode of writing contained through by, for, about, and near, these markers either disappear or acquire new deﬁnitions to keep from limiting the possibilities of creation. Thus, the continued use of these terms requires a sustained engagement that allows their meanings to shift to reﬂect changing cultural realities and intellectual models. Keeping these terms as an element in the dialogue helps us realize the ongoing shift from the immediacy of the perceived and the lived as reﬂected in the theater to the space of the theoretical and conceptual.
Unfortunately, this patronizing gesture is the most visibly practiced alternative to a complete lack of acknowledgment. The assumption that a Latina must take on an immigrant identity to obtain an acting job is not absolved by the presence of a bleeding-heart liberal, despite the assumed conservatism of blithely imposing immigrant status on a Latina body. The only way out of this impasse is to create a new space not just for representing but for thinking and doing. The complexities of representation, here presented ironically but accurately, require the transformation of reception and performance at multiple levels.