Out of the Fringe
The title of this essay refers to a collection of theater and performance pieces written and performed between 1995 and 1998 by some of the most prolific Latino artists working in the late twentieth century.1 One the characteristics that marks them is the lack of overall homogeneity found among the pieces. Some, like Caridad Svich’s Alchemy of Desire/Dead-Man’s Blues (1997) and Fur (1995) by Migdalia Cruz are set within an internal terrain which the play itself constructs, making no allusions to identifiable, specific geographic locations (be they Hispanic or Anglo). Theirs is a self-contained world set within what could be termed the deliberations of language, the psychological, and the theatrical. Others, like Luis Alfaro’s Cuerpo Politizado (1997), Greetings from a Queer Senorita (1995) by Monica Palacios, Trash (1995) by Pedro Monge-Rafuls, Stuff (1997) by Nao Bustamante and Coco Fusco, and Mexican Medea (1997) by Cherrie Moraga clearly take a stance at the junction between the sexual, sexual preference, AIDS, postcolonial discourse, and identity politics.
KeywordsBorder Guard Performance Piece United Farm Worker Mark Taper Homosexual Theme
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- 1.Parts of the essay were used in the introduction to Out of the Fringe, Contemporary Latina/Latino Theatre and Performance (New York: Theatre Communications Group, 2000), an anthology I co-edited with Caridad Svich. All quotes of performance texts, unless otherwise noted, are from this source. This essay was also published in LATR 32.2 (spring 1999): 87–104. Reprinted with permission of LATR.2. David Roman, “Teatro Viva! Politics and AIDS in Los Angeles,” in Acts of Intervention, Performance, Gay Culture and AIDS (Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1994), 177–201.Google Scholar
- 3.For a documented example of marketplace production politics, see M. Teresa Marrero “Chicano/Latino Self-Representation in theater and Performance Art,” Gestos 6.11 (April 1991): 147–162. Note the case of Eddie Sanchez’s Trafficking in Broken Hearts second staged reading during South Coast Repertory’s His-panics Playwrights Project (1990).Google Scholar
- 4.Alberto Sandoval Sánchez, “So Far from National Stages, So Close to Home: An Inventory of Latino Theater on AIDS,” Ollantay Theater Magazine 11.2 (Summer/Fall 1994): 54–72.Google Scholar
- 5.See Homi K. Bhabha, “The Other Question: Stereotype, Discrimination and the Discourse of Colonialism,” in The Location of Culture (New York: Routledge, 1994), 66–84.Google Scholar
- 6.Frances Negrón-Muntaner, “Drama Queens: Gay and Lesbian Independent Film/Video,” in The Ethnic Eye, Latino Media Arts ed. Chon A. Noriega and Ana M. López (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1996), 32–64.Google Scholar
- 19.David Roman, “Teatro Viva! Politics and AIDS in Los Angeles” in Acts of Intervention, Performance, Gay Culture and AIDS (Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1994), 177–201.Google Scholar
- 22.For an excellent, concise analysis of Chicano nationalism and subversive performance strategies, see Prieto-Stambaugh, “Performance art transfronterizo: hacia la desconstrucción de las identidades,” Gestos 13.25 (April 1998): 143–162.Google Scholar
- 29.Lillian Manzor-Coats, “Introduction,” in Latin American Writers on Gay and Lesbian Themes, a Bio-Critical Sourcebook ed. David William Foster (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1994), xv–xxxvi.Google Scholar
- 44.For a look at a lesser-known, but most interesting play of Svich’s, see M. Teresa Marrero, “Historical and Literary Santeria: Unveiling Gender and Identity in U.S. Cuban Literature,” in Tropicalizations: Transcultural Representations of La-tinidad ed. Suzanne Chavez-Silverman and Frances Aparicio (Hanover, NH: The University Press of New England, 1997), 139–159.Google Scholar
- 47.Roland Barthes, A Lover’s Discourse, Fragments trans. Richard Howard (New York: Hill and Wang, 1978), 73.Google Scholar