This course examines the use of theatre
and performance - by the State, by oppositional groups,
and by theatre and performance practitioners - to solidify
or challenge structures of power.
The course looks at specific examples
of how theatre and public spectacles have been used
since the 1960s to control or contest the political
stage. Starting with the climactic moment of the Cuban
revolution, we examine how Latin American playwrights
(Enrique Buenaventura, Emilio Carballido, José
Triana, Augusto Boal) and collective theatre groups
(Yuyachkani, T.E.C.) struggled to transform theatre
from an instrument of colonial oppression into an oppositional,
at times revolutionary, "theatre of the oppressed."
We then look at the military dictatorships
of the 1970s-80s, during which Latin American playwrights,
performers, and political actors responded to political
violence (Teatro Abierto, Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo,
Griselda Gambaro, Eduardo Pavlovsky).
In the 1980s and 90s the convergence
of performance and politics takes many forms - from
issues of gender, sexuality and race, to neo-colonialism
and globalism - as visible in the practices of playwrights
and solo performance artists (Maris Bustamante, Diana
Raznovich, Sabina Berman, Jesusa Rodriguez, Denise Stoklos,
Astrid Hadad, Petrona de la Cruz Cruz).