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Hemispheric Institute Digital Video Library

Overview
Works: 629 works in 907 publications in 3 languages and 1,186 library holdings
Genres: Drama  Parodies, imitations, etc  Interviews  Legends  Criticism, interpretation, etc  History  Fiction 
Publication Timeline
Key
Publications about Hemispheric Institute Digital Video Library
Publications by Hemispheric Institute Digital Video Library
Most widely held works by Hemispheric Institute Digital Video Library
Beauty and the beast ( visu )
2 editions published between 1983 and 1986 in English and held by 4 libraries worldwide
Since 1981, the Split Britches Company (founded by Lois Weaver, Peggy Shaw, and Deb Margolin, www.splitbritches.com) has written and performed in trio, duet, and solo, as well as collaborated and performed with other artists. They describe their work in this way: 'Our work is rooted in popular culture, but positioned against it. It relies on moments rather than plot, relationships rather than story. It depends on the surprise of transformation rather than the logic of psychological narrative. It straddles the line between performance and theater, exploiting theatricality while exposing the pretense. It is about a community of outsiders, queers, eccentrics. It is feminist because it encourages the imaginative potential in everyone and lesbian because it takes the presence of lesbian on stage as a given.' Their vaudevillian satirical gender-bending performances have received numerous awards, including a Jane Chamber award and four Village Voice OBIE awards. Their collection of scripts, Split Britches Feminist Performance/Lesbian Practice, edited by Sue Ellen Case, won the 1997 Lambda Literary Award for Drama. This video documents their show Beauty and the Beast'. Based on the classic fairy tale, influenced by the long rule of republican politics and informed by the Christian agenda that dominates the US scene up till the present, it is the personal journey of a Salvation Army woman who plays the good and beautiful daughter who secretly wants to be bad, a Rabbi in pink toe shoes who is relegated to the role of the father and longs to be a stand-up comic, and an 86-year-old lesbian vaudeville freak who embraces the role of the Beast and comments on politics by forgetting which play she is in
Upwardly mobile home ( visu )
3 editions published between 1984 and 1986 in English and held by 4 libraries worldwide
Since 1981, the Split Britches Company (founded by Lois Weaver, Peggy Shaw, and Deb Margolin) has written and performed in trio, duet, and solo, as well as collaborated and performed with other artists. They describe their work in this way: 'Our work is rooted in popular culture, but positioned against it. It relies on moments rather than plot, relationships rather than story. It depends on the surprise of transformation rather than the logic of psychological narrative. It straddles the line between performance and theater, exploiting theatricality while exposing the pretense. It is about a community of outsiders, queers, eccentrics. It is feminist because it encourages the imaginative potential in everyone and lesbian because it takes the presence of lesbian on stage as a given.' Their vaudevillian satirical gender-bending performances have received numerous awards, including a Jane Chamber award and four Village Voice OBIE awards. This video documents the first version of their show Upwardly Mobile Home, performed at WOW Café on East 11th Street in New York City. The piece is a working class survival story, where a troupe of actors camps out under the Brooklyn bridge and peddle their wares, trying unsuccessfully to sell out and be greedy like the rest of America in the 1980s
Otra tempestad ( visu )
4 editions published between 1997 and 1998 in Spanish and held by 4 libraries worldwide
Adaptation written by Raquel Carrió and Flora Lauten, based on texts by Shakespeare, Carpentier, Paz, Martí, and Caribbean folktales, rituals and songs from Yoruban and Araran cultures. An exploration of the conflicting and syncretic coordinates of "cubanidad", Otra Tempestad tells the story of the labyrinthical encounters (dreamt or imagined) between well-known Shakespearean characters and key figures of Afro-Caribbean mythology. Fifteen "cuadros", constantly cycling from death to utopia to death, examine archetypal behavior, investigating the space where worlds collide, the confluence of old and new world orders. The performance here documented was staged in the context of "The Season of Justice and Mercy" (1998) at the reconstructed Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in London. Teatro Buendía, formed in 1986 by graduates from the Higher Institute of Arts, Havana, and directed by Flora Lauten, is Cuba's most celebrated theater company. Since its foundation, they have developed two parallel lines of work: the production of theater spectacles, and a permanent research center investigating Latin American and Caribbean cultural traditions, the expressive possibilities of the actor, and the renewal of scenic languages. The study of the possible relations between music, dance, and interpretation, as well as the formulation of new forms of scenic writing and dramaturgy of the spectacle, have consolidated Teatro Buendía's international prestige as a company that has presented their repertoire in the most demanding festivals and venues of Latin America, Europe, North America, Asia, Africa and Australia, all to critical acclaim. They also tour internationally giving workshops, seminars and conferences on their cultural investigations and creative methods
Salad of the Bad Café ( visu )
4 editions published between 1998 and 2000 in English and held by 4 libraries worldwide
Since 1981, the Split Britches Company (founded by Lois Weaver, Peggy Shaw, and Deb Margolin) has written and performed in trio, duet, and solo, as well as collaborated and performed with other artists. They describe their work in this way: 'Our work is rooted in popular culture, but positioned against it. It relies on moments rather than plot, relationships rather than story. It depends on the surprise of transformation rather than the logic of psychological narrative. It straddles the line between performance and theater, exploiting theatricality while exposing the pretense. It is about a community of outsiders, queers, eccentrics. It is feminist because it encourages the imaginative potential in everyone and lesbian because it takes the presence of lesbian on stage as a given. Salad of the Bad Café is a postmodern cabaret written and performed by Lois Weaver and Peggy Shaw of Split Britches and Asian American performance artist Stacy Makishi. Inspired by Carson McCullers' novel Ballad of the Sad Café and the lives of Tennessee Williams and Yukio Mishima, it is a treatise on love in a post-claustrophobic era. The play begins in 1945, in the summer that lay between the war and the postwar period when Japan was weeping, the American South was seething and the word Gender was mostly used in grammar class. The setting is a cafe where people come to spend a few hours so that the deep bitter knowing that their life is not worth much can be laid to rest. Racial, gender and regional stereotypes come together to tell a story of unrequited love, in an attempt to demystify the Queer, disorient the Orient and demythify the Southern Gothic and the American Grotesque. This is one of the first iterations of the piece, performed as a work-in-progress in London in 1998
Chavela Vargas en vivo en El Hábito (versión sin editar) ( visu )
2 editions published in 1991 in Spanish and held by 4 libraries worldwide
At age 72, after 13 years of silence due to problems with alcohol, Mexican legendary singer Chavela Vargas returns to the stage for the first time at Teatro-Bar El Hábito in 1991. With visible excitement and emotion, she sings from her famous repertoire of classic Ranchera songs, including 'Macorina', 'La Llorona' and 'Soledad'. The video alterates footage from the concert with interviews with Chavela, conducted by El Hábito co-founder Jesusa Rodríguez, where Vargas comments on her singing style, her struggles with alcoholism and depression, and her thoughts on life and death. Also included is a clip of Liliana Felipe and Jesusa Rodríguez singing the ode to Chavela Vargas, 'Doña Chavela'. This is the uncut version of the acoustic live concert, included in 'El Hábito' collection as a supplement to the edited version of the live concert produced by The Wide Angles, which includes an interview with Chavela, conducted by El Habito co-founder Jesusa Rodríguez. Mexican director, actress, playwright, performance artist, scenographer, entrepreneur, and social activist Jesusa Rodréguez has been called the most important woman of Mexico. Often referred to as a 'chameleon', Rodríguez moves seemingly effortlessly and with vigor across the spectrum of cultural forms, styles, and tones. Her 'espectáculos' (as both spectacles and shows) challenge traditional classification, crossing with ease generic boundaries: from elite to popular to mass, from Greek tragedy to cabaret, from pre-Columbian indigenous to opera, from revue, sketch and 'carpa', to performative acts within political projects. Humor, satire, linguistic play, and the body are constants in her productions. She seeks to render corporal and, thus, visible, the tensions between the discourses in operation on and through the individual and collective body. Rodriguez's energy is intense and her commitment non-negotiable, always interrogating the nature, site, and consequences of power and its representation. Liliana Felipe, one of Latin America's foremost singers and composers, was born in Argentina in the 1950s. She left for Mexico just before the outbreak of the 'Dirty War' (1976), but her sister and brother-in-law were both 'disappeared'--victims of the military dictatorship's criminal politics. Liliana's music has a wide following in Latin America. She continues to be a powerful presence in Argentina, working with human rights organizations--especially H.I.J.O.S. (the organization of the children of the disappeared). In Mexico, Liliana went to one of Jesusa Rodríguez's performances. Jesusa, catching a glimpse of Felipe in the audience, remembers saying to herself: 'I am going to die with that woman.' Since then, Liliana and Jesusa have created two performance spaces, El Cuervo and later El Hábito in Coyoacán, Mexico City, that they still run. They 'married' in February 2000. El Hábito (www.elhabito.com.mx) is a hotbed for intellectuals, feminists, gay rights activists and open-minded, progressive people who want to be engaged by a smart and critical humor. In this off-off space, and with the collaboration of their theater cooperative Las Divas, Jesusa y Liliana have produced hundreds of shows since the 1980s
Cuando el regente nos alcance ( visu )
2 editions published in 1996 in Spanish and held by 4 libraries worldwide
In this solo performance by Jesusa Rodríguez, current pressing social and economic problems affecting Mexico City are discussed in the context of political campaigns to the regency of this city. Economic polarization, failing infrastructure, political corruption, violation of human rights, mass media manipulation of public opinion, the religious prohibition of birth control methods, and a severe drought are topics discussed by a myriad of characters, satiric lyrics, and video inserts projected on the back wall of the stage. Rodríguez mocks Mexico's main political parties (PRI, PAN) and the disparity between their campaign promises and the political corruption that worsens the urban crisis. Several candidates to the regency of the city are proposed, alluding to actual politicians, but expanding the political 'bestiary' to the fabulous 'Chupacabras' (the 'Goatsucker,' invoked to suck the technocrats' blood), 'Babe, el Puerquito Valiente' ('Babe, the Brave Piglet,' a symbol of 'dirty politics'), Keiko the Whale ('all regents are animals... at least this one needs water as much as the rest of the population'), and even resorting to propose Coatlicue, Aztec goddess of life and death (who promises to end privatization, greed, and corruption among 'her children'). An alternative 'History of the Collapse of Tenochtitlan' and the satiric version of Venezuelan folk song 'Alma Llanera' are examples of how this performance confronts streetwise wits with the mirage of urban prosperity advertised by TV commercials, newscasts, and political campaign slogans, acknowledging how electoral decisions affect 'the future of Mexico... if there's such thing.' Mexican director, actress, playwright, performance artist, scenographer, entrepreneur, and social activist Jesusa Rodréguez has been called the most important woman of Mexico. Often referred to as a chameleon, Rodríguez moves seemingly effortlessly and with vigor across the spectrum of cultural forms, styles, and tones. Her espectáculos (as both spectacles and shows) challenge traditional classification, crossing with ease generic boundaries: from elite to popular to mass, from Greek tragedy to cabaret, from pre-Columbian indigenous to opera, from revue, sketch and carpa, to performative acts within political projects. Humor, satire, linguistic play, and the body are constants in her productions. She seeks to render corporal and, thus, visible, the tensions between the discourses in operation on and through the individual and collective body. Rodriguezs energy is intense and her commitment non-negotiable, always interrogating the nature, site, and consequences of power and its representation. Liliana Felipe, one of Latin America's foremost singers and composers, was born in Argentina in the 1950s. She left for Mexico just before the outbreak of the 'Dirty War' (1976), but her sister and brother-in-law were both 'disappeared'--victims of the military dictatorship's criminal politics. Liliana's music has a wide following in Latin America. She continues to be a powerful presence in Argentina, working with human rights organizations--especially H.I.J.O.S. (the organization of the children of the disappeared). In Mexico, Liliana went to one of Jesusa Rodríguez's performances. Jesusa, catching a glimpse of Felipe in the audience, remembers saying to herself: I am going to die with that woman. Since then, Liliana and Jesusa have created two performance spaces, El Cuervo and later El Hábito in Coyoacán, Mexico City, that they still run. They 'married' in February 2000. El Hábito (www.elhabito.com.mx) is a hotbed for intellectuals, feminists, gay rights activists and open-minded, progressive people who want to be engaged by a smart and critical humor. In this off-off space, and with the collaboration of their theater cooperative Las Divas, Jesusa y Liliana have produced hundreds of shows since the 1980s
Latino plastic cover English version ( visu )
4 editions published in 2000 in Spanish and English and held by 4 libraries worldwide
'Latino Plastic Cover' is the first short film by Fulana (www.fulana.org), a Latina video collective from New York City. Through parody and satire, Fulana explores themes that are relevant to Latino cultures in the U.S., delving into the nuances that bind our experiences, experimenting with strategies to make visible what we're so often made to read between the lines. Their work, which consists mainly of mock television commercials, music videos and print advertisements, responds to the ways products and ideas are marketed to Latinos through the mass media. 'Latino Plastic Cover' is a mock cable access commercial for the ultimate panacea, guaranteed not only to keep dust off your furniture, but to solve all kinds of social ills affecting the Latino community and beyond. Discover the luxury of freedom!
Split britches ( visu )
2 editions published between 1980 and 1984 in English and held by 4 libraries worldwide
Since 1981, the Split Britches Company (founded by Lois Weaver, Peggy Shaw, and Deb Margolin, www.splitbritches.com) has written and performed in trio, duet, and solo, as well as collaborated and performed with other artists. They describe their work in this way: 'Our work is rooted in popular culture, but positioned against it. It relies on moments rather than plot, relationships rather than story. It depends on the surprise of transformation rather than the logic of psychological narrative. It straddles the line between performance and theater, exploiting theatricality while exposing the pretense. It is about a community of outsiders, queers, eccentrics. It is feminist because it encourages the imaginative potential in everyone and lesbian because it takes the presence of lesbian on stage as a given.' Their vaudevillian satirical gender-bending performances have received numerous awards, including a Jane Chamber award and four Village Voice OBIE awards. Their collection of scripts, Split Britches Feminist Performance/Lesbian Practice, edited by Sue Ellen Case, won the 1997 Lambda Literary Award for Drama. This video documents their show Split Britches- The True Story, which marks the initial collaboration of the trio and is the show from which they got their name. Conceived and directed by Lois Weaver, its a show based on true stories of three members of Weavers family in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, United States. It also marks the beginning of the companys aesthetic: weaving multiple true stories in one, trusting the details of the everyday and relying on relation rather than action. The Christian Science Monitor called this play a tiny masterpiece
Big mother el gran desmadre ( visu )
3 editions published in 2002 in Spanish and held by 4 libraries worldwide
The kaleidoscopic play of gazes is thus multiplied, in a vortex of surveillance where Big Mother echoes Big Brother, both as Orson Well's '1984' dystopia and as Mexico's homonymous reality TV show. Metaphysically aggravated, the Horsewomen murder Mother Nature and, left with a barren planet, embark in 'a crusade against alien -extraterrestrial- terrorism.' Mexican director, actress, playwright, performance artist, scenographer, entrepreneur, and social activist Jesusa Rodríguez has been called the most important woman of Mexico. Often referred to as a 'chameleon,' Rodríguez moves seemingly effortlessly and with vigor across the spectrum of cultural forms, styles, and tones. Her 'espectáculos' (as both spectacles and shows) challenge traditional classification, crossing with ease generic boundaries: from elite to popular to mass, from Greek tragedy to cabaret, from pre-Columbian indigenous to opera, from revue, sketch and 'carpa,' to performative acts within political projects
The temple of confessions : pre-performance street intervention, Detroit ( visu )
4 editions published in 1996 in English and held by 4 libraries worldwide
This itinerant performance/installation present two "end-of-the-century saints" from an "unknown border religion", in search of sanctuary across the United States while gathering confessions on intercultural fears and desires. Designed as a theater of mythos and cultural pathologies, the "Temple" proposes a ceremonial space for the reflection on ethnic, racial, and gender prejudices. It is divided in three main areas: the "Chapel of Desires", displaying "El Pre-Columbian Vato" or "holy gang member" (performed by Roberto Sifuentes); the "Chapel of Fears", displaying "San Pocho Aztlaneca" (a "hyper-exoticized curio shop shaman for spiritual tourists," performed by Guillermo Gómez-Peña), and an enigmatic funerary vignette composed by performance objects. Paintings of other "hybrid santos" hang from the walls, two "nuns" ("chola/nun" Norma Medina and "dominatrix nun" Michelle Ceballos) take care of the temple, and visitors can leave their "confessions"; the most revealing ones are incorporated into the installation soundtrack for future performances
Bocas de bolero ( visu )
2 editions published in 1994 in Spanish and held by 4 libraries worldwide
'Bocas de bolero' is a collective creation by Teatro La Máscara on the relationships women have with everyday activities in the domestic realm. The melodrama of marriage, the notion of waiting, domestic chores, religion, mother-daughter relationships, gender conventions, etc., are woven with the romantic and melancholy sounds and themes of bolero. Through a polysemic treatment of space, reiteration, movement and image that explores the dynamics of memory, personal present and collective past, the performance artfully confronts the taboos, conventions and struggles surrounding cultural notions of gender. Teatro La Máscara is the oldest - and one of the only - feminist, all-womens theater in Colombia. Founded in 1972 in Cali, La Máscara was a political theater initially comprised of male as well as female actors; by the early 1980s, when only the women stayed and wanted to continue the theatrical trajectory of the group, Lucy Bolaños decided to make La Máscara a womens ensemble fully dedicated to a feminine dramaturgy on gender issues. Committed to feminism and social change, they have stayed true to this mission, despite the many social and economic pressures theyve had to endure in an environment plagued by violence and machismo, which constantly seeks to invisibilize their work. Because of their fruitful stubbornness, La Máscara is not only creating and staging plays, but also working with marginalized communities, actively participating in political protests and demonstrations, and being involved in the organization of theater festivals. Through their work, they keep re-thinking womens role in the construction of a peaceful Colombia
El derecho de abortar (video para espectáculo) ( visu )
2 editions published in 1998 in Spanish and held by 4 libraries worldwide
Monica 'Lengüinsky' (played by Jesusa Rodríguez) flees to Mexico during the Clinton scandal, becomes a TV writer, and produces 'El Derecho de Abortar,' a show that is a cross between a 'pastorela' (Nativity play) and a 'telenovela' (soap opera). This 'pastonovela' features Virgin Mary and Joseph of Nazareth as two wealthy Mexicans tormented by the ambiguous sexuality of their cross-dressing son, Jesus Christ. In a failed attempt to 'straighten him out,' they employ a prostitute ('María Magdalena' Lengüinsky), who ends up discovering that Jesus is really a hermaphrodite, that he is pregnant, and that the father of his unborn child is St. Joseph himself. When Jesus gets an abortion, Lengüinsky sees her chance to profit from the situation: she blackmails the Holy Family by threatening to go public with the truth about Jesus. Putting their own social status first (including Joseph's political career as a candidate to the Mexican presidency), the Holy Family decides to sacrifice Jesus and sells Lengüinsky the copyright to all images of the crucifixion. 'El Derecho de Abortar' is a poignant satirical commentary on the corruption, intolerance, and contradictory morality at work in the catholic-capitalist society of Mexico. Mexican director, actress, playwright, performance artist, scenographer, entrepreneur, and social activist Jesusa Rodréguez has been called the most important woman of Mexico. Often referred to as a chameleon, Rodríguez moves seemingly effortlessly and with vigor across the spectrum of cultural forms, styles, and tones. Her espectáculos (as both spectacles and shows) challenge traditional classification, crossing with ease generic boundaries: from elite to popular to mass, from Greek tragedy to cabaret, from pre-Columbian indigenous to opera, from revue, sketch and carpa, to performative acts within political projects. Humor, satire, linguistic play, and the body are constants in her productions. She seeks to render corporal and, thus, visible, the tensions between the discourses in operation on and through the individual and collective body. Rodriguezs energy is intense and her commitment non-negotiable, always interrogating the nature, site, and consequences of power and its representation. Liliana Felipe, one of Latin America's foremost singers and composers, was born in Argentina in the 1950s. She left for Mexico just before the outbreak of the 'Dirty War' (1976), but her sister and brother-in-law were both 'disappeared'--victims of the military dictatorship's criminal politics. Liliana's music has a wide following in Latin America. She continues to be a powerful presence in Argentina, working with human rights organizations--especially H.I.J.O.S. (the organization of the children of the disappeared). In Mexico, Liliana went to one of Jesusa Rodríguez's performances. Jesusa, catching a glimpse of Felipe in the audience, remembers saying to herself: I am going to die with that woman. Since then, Liliana and Jesusa have created two performance spaces, El Cuervo and later El Hábito in Coyoacán, Mexico City, that they still run. They 'married' in February 2000. El Hábito (www.elhabito.com.mx) is a hotbed for intellectuals, feminists, gay rights activists and open-minded, progressive people who want to be engaged by a smart and critical humor. In this off-off space, and with the collaboration of their theater cooperative Las Divas, Jesusa y Liliana have produced hundreds of shows since the 1980s
Foximiliano y Martota ( visu )
3 editions published between 1993 and 2003 in Spanish and held by 4 libraries worldwide
Installed in the Castle of Chapultepec and conflating the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries, Mexico's former emperor Maximilian of Habsburg, his wife Carlota, and former President Benito Juárez await 'History's judgment.' In the meantime, they entertain themselves -and the audience, a 'flock' to whom thought is prohibited- 'killing time with historic dignity.' The historical characters play betting games of dexterity (betting the political destiny of the fatherland), play political miniature horse races, perform a ballroom gestural dance to Catholicism, and watch a satiric puppet rendition of 'Red Riding Hood' where a girl resembling Mexico's First Lady Marta Sahagún teams up with an American wolf (who is in war with Iraq) in order to kill Grandma Vicenta (resembling President Vicente Fox) and seize political control of the hemisphere. In the meantime, Carlota, historically accused of madness, asks her 'magic' mirror to predict Mexico's 2006 electoral outcome
Amores pelos by Astrid Hadad( visu )
4 editions published in 2001 in Spanish and held by 3 libraries worldwide
Video documentation of Astrid Hadad's performance 'Amores Pelos' presented as a part of the 2nd Encuentro of the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics, celebrated in June of 2001 in Monterrey, Mexico under the title 'Memory, Atrocity and Resistance'. Astrid Hadad, singer and actress, graduated from Mexico City's Centro Universitario de Teatro. She looks to cabaret and performance to represent social, cultural, and political crisis in Mexico and, at the same time, to entertain. Costumed in her signature wearable art, Hadad blends popular songs and ranchero, son and bolero music and political satire with highly theatrical precision to create a genre of music she calls 'Heavy Nopal'. Her work takes on the stereotypes of Mexican culture and reframes them to comment on the forms of machismo in a variety of local and global contexts
Amnezac ( visu )
2 editions published in 2005 in English and held by 3 libraries worldwide
This satirical pharmaceutical commercial by Fulana was made in the context of the Iraq war and the Bush administration, at a time when being a 'good American,' they felt, meant falling into a kind of political and historical amnesia. The 'Amnezac' commercial, much in the style of drugs like Paxil and Zoloft, asks consumers to think about their emotional state and suggest they may need clinical treatment. 'Do you feel anxiety about world events you cannot change?,' it asks. 'Are your political concerns interfering with your patriotic activities, like shopping and paying taxes? Does the Iraq war remind you of US invasions of Latin American countries, including your own? You may be suffering from Historical Memoritis.' It urges viewers to block their long-term historical memory with Amnezac: The Most Powerful Anti-Historiamine on the Market
Muiraquitã a cena e as tradições Afro-Ameríndias ( visu )
1 edition published in 2009 in Portuguese and held by 3 libraries worldwide
Zeca Ligiéro is currently Associate Professor at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro State and the curator of Augusto Boal Archive. He coordinates since 1998 the Center for the Study of Afro-Amerindian Performances-NEPAA, which is dedicated to promoting research, dissemination, and exchange with various cultures of African, Indigenous, and other non-hegemonic origin, and to studying their inter-relations within Brazil
Hamlet ( visu )
2 editions published in 1999 in English and held by 3 libraries worldwide
For this East Coast Artists production, Schechner largely used the 1603 First Quarto and character names derived from earlier source texts. Schechner proposes a collision of 21st century American popular culture, Elizabethan poetry, and a medieval Danish story. Using contemporary U.S. idiomatic expressions, ballroom dancing, and pop icons such as Marilyn Monroe (Gertred) and Shirley Temple (Ofelia), 'Hamlet' embodies a cyclone of tragedy enacted within the postmodernity of the 21st century. As Schechner writes in his program note, Monroe and others steal the words of Shakespeare's characters and haunt the play from the future - just as Gertrude, an ancient woman, haunts it from the past. Claudius is both a Viking pirate and a contemporary globalizing marauder, blustering and handsome. Polonius is a talking head, a TV pundit full of shopworn sagacity. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are literally rats, their tails trailing behind them as they do tap routines
Faust/gastronome ( visu )
2 editions published in 1994 in English and held by 3 libraries worldwide
Richard Schechner's East Coast Artists bring this foundational Western myth forward to the end of the 20th century with Faust as a cook-alchemist. Food preparation and consumption is the ruling metaphor for the destructive appetites of Western expansion culminating in both the Nazi crime of genocide and the post-industrial excesses of globalization and genetic manipulation. Schechner and his colleagues rework the story. Mephistopheles played by a woman dressed as a man but not disguising her 'actual' gender is assisted by Hitler, also played by a woman. Part One of 'Faust/gastronome' draws heavily on Goethe, tracing Faust's seduction of Gretchen (aided by Mephistopheles) and his abandoning her to her death. A considerable portion of the dialogue is Goethe's, performed in German. Part Two Schechner describes as a 'tragedy of development.' Here Faust heads the 'Fist Group' of corporations involved in genetic engineering and global exploitation. Just before his death and damnation, Faust meets Gretchen who has come to seek him out and help bring him to hell. At one point, Hitler's architect, Albert Speer, appears on a talk show justifying World War II and the Holocaust. Later, Faust and a neo-Nazi teenage appear on the same show. The set features three sturdy wooden tables used in many configurations to contain the action. On a platform upstage, composer Ralph Denzer leads a small jazz ensemble. Richard Schechner is a theater director, performance theorist and university professor known for being one of the founders of the academic discipline of Performance Studies at Tisch School of the Arts, New York University. Schechner combines his work in anthropology with innovative approaches to performance of all kinds including ritual, drama, environmental theater, political rallies, dance, music, etc. in order to consider how performance can be understood not just as an object of study, but also as an active intellectual-artistic practice. He is the editor of 'TDR: The Journal of Performance Studies.' His books include 'Environmental Theater,' 'The Future of Ritual,' 'Performance Theory,' 'Between Theater and Anthropology' and 'Performance Studies: An Introduction.' As of 2007, his books have been translated into 14 languages
Interview with Jesusa Rodríguez ( visu )
3 editions published between 2004 and 2009 in Spanish and held by 3 libraries worldwide
Mexican director, actress, playwright, performance artist, scenographer, entrepreneur, and social activist Jesusa Rodríguez moves seemingly effortlessly and with vigor across the spectrum of cultural forms, styles, and tones. Her espectáculos (as both spectacles and shows) challenge traditional classification, crossing with ease generic boundaries: from elite to popular to mass, from Greek tragedy to cabaret, from pre-Columbian indigenous to opera, from revue, sketch and carpa, to performative acts within political projects. Humor, satire, linguistic play, and the body are constants in her productions. Rodriguezs energy is intense and her commitment non-negotiable, always interrogating the nature, site, and consequences of power and its representation. In this interview the artist comments on her particular use and transformation of the genre of pastorela (nativity play) in her cabaret performances, as a tool for contesting political and religious fundamentalism in the Americas. The pastorelas, used by the Catholic Church as an evangelization tool during the Conquest, are usually based on a clean-cut distinction between Good and Evil, sustaining a binary thought that has fueled political, cultural and religious agendas in the American hemisphere. Rodríguez proposal to use the pastorela genre against the ideologically conservative institutions that originally introduced and used it, subversively mixes humor with religion in order to contest the Manichean politics at play in contemporary Western society. Performances like Concilio de Amor and Pastorela Terrorista are commented by the artist as examples of this performative strategy, which Rodríguez links to a broader concern with civic empowerment and education, issues of civil disobedience and popular participation
El apagón The blackout ( visu )
2 editions published between 1992 and 2007 in English and held by 3 libraries worldwide
'El Apagón/The Blackout' is a bilingual theatrical adaptation of the story 'La noche que volvimos a ser gente' by José Luis González, set to the sounds of popular Latin songs from the 1950s and 1960s. Riding the subway uptown towards El Barrio, and eager to witness the birth of his firstborn, a Puerto Rican man and his best friend face the Northeast Blackout of 1965. A paean to the courage, humor, and humanity of migrant experience, the show has been hailed by critics as 'the quintessential Boricua play.' 'El Apagón' has been performed throughout the United States, and in Puerto Rico, Slovakia, and Holland. This video was taped in April 2007 at Pregones Theater on Walton Avenue in The Bronx, in celebration of the show's 15th anniversary; the performance was premiered at Pregones @ St. Ann's in the Spring of 1992. Founded in 1979 and based in The Bronx, New York City, Pregones Theater (http://www.pregones.org) has performed in more than 400 cities and 13 countries. The company enjoys citywide recognition for their lasting contributions to the performing arts field and are recipients of numerous distinctions including current Leading National Ensemble Theatre Designation from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Primary Cultural Institution Designation from the New York State Council on the Arts, the New York State Governor's Arts Award, the Culture & Humanities Award from the Center for Puerto Rican Studies, numerous artist and production awards, as well as invitations to appear at international festivals and events. Over the years Pregones has developed a style that combines theater, music and movement, oral and written traditions, and a signature urban sensibility. The ensemble draws from popular Puerto Rican artistic expressions and literature to create and stage its work. Today, Pregones has grown to be one of the leading Puerto Rican/Latino theater theaters in the United States. From migrations to indigenous mythologies to subway stories, the company's repertoire covers a growing sample of Latino experiences and identities
 
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