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Posts under tag: Chicano theater

February 22, 2018

García-Caro Publishes First Californio Drama

Astucias por heredar, un sobrino a un tío (1789) by Fermín de Reygadas has recently come out as an e-book available on different electronic formats. It is a critical, annotated, edition with a detailed introduction to the context, the author, and the provenance of this comedy. According to the oral and written sources surrounding its donation to the Bancroft collection (which forms the basis for UC Berkeley’s Library) by Californio historian Guadalupe Vallejo, Astucias was “the first drama performed in California after its foundation” as a Spanish colony in 1769.

García-Caro’s groundbreaking research has located the source of the play in Mexico, including the censorship files which had banned it from the Mexican stage in 1790, and has traced the likely place of its performance, in the secular Villa de Branciforte, in what is now Eastern Santa Cruz. This play is a Neoclassic comedy which clearly draws heavily from French and Italian sources but is profoundly familiar with Spanish literary traditions as well and completely adapted for a Hispano-Mexican audience. The fact that it remained in manuscript form and has never before been printed or published has meant that the text remained uncensored with all its original lines, which include a large number of improprieties that could have otherwise been lost along the way.

It is a rare find as we have relatively scant information and little textual evidence of the kind of cultural production that secular Hispanic settlers engaged in or brought with them as they populated the emerging network of villas and pueblos in what is now the US South West in the 17th and 18th centuries.

The play is now available through Arte Público Press, the preeminent publisher of contemporary Latino and Recovered US Hispanic Literature. Teatro Milagro in Portland took up Prof. García-Caro’s proposal to stage this original play and shows run February 9th to March 3rd in Spanish with English superscripts. Early reviews of the production are raving about the currency of the topics and the humorous exchanges, as well as the vibrancy of the language. The troupe of actors at Teatro Milagro comes from a diverse set of backgrounds from all over the Spanish-speaking Americas, and is working under the direction of commedia dell’arte expert Robi Arce, from Puerto Rico. Prof. García-Caro and theatre Director Robi Arce participated on February 16th in a roundtable at Portland State University, a recording is available here.

Watch Latino Network TV news on the play!

October 28, 2014

Moberg awarded fellowship for her work on Chicano theater

Erin Moberg, PhD Candidate in the Department of Romance Languages, has been awarded an Oregon Humanities Center Dissertation Fellowship for Winter 2015.  This Fellowship affords her a term without teaching duties, so that she can focus on dissertation research and writing.

Erin’s research centers on Chicano theater and performance in the U.S.  Her dissertation examines representations of gender and sexuality, both within works by Chicana/o dramatists and in critical and popular reception to those works.  Her literary corpus includes plays by Estela Portillo-Trambley, Luis Valdéz, Cherríe Moraga, and Josefina López.  In particular, she seeks to bridge what she contends is a critical gap in scholarly considerations of Chicano theater; while the works of Chicano (male) playwrights are generally considered in terms of their literary and theatrical merits, plays by Chicana (female) dramatists are often approached in terms of the gender and sexual orientation of the playwrights and their characters.  In her dissertation, Erin both affords critical space to plays by Chicana dramatists and problematizes representations of gender and sexuality in what are now considered foundational and canonical works within the field of Chicano theater.  At stake are the equal treatment and inclusion of the creative and literary contributions of Chicana playwrights, critics, and creative writers, in the fields of Chicana/o Studies in general and Chicana/o Theater in particular.

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