Introduction: Difficult Times: Considering Dramatic Violence



Violence, along with questions regarding national identity and political change, has defined Latin American societies throughout their history, and theater offers a way to understand how this violence has shaped the social and political contexts of Latin American societies in the twentieth century. This book examines how violence has been used in four Cuban and Argentine plays written in the late 1960s and early 1970s as a way to understand the social and political context in which they were written and performed. The plays I focus on explore the violence that appears in the theatrical context of Cuba and Argentina, two of the Latin American countries with the largest theater communities during the period from 1968 to 1974. Cuba and Argentina can be seen as a logical comparison in that they share various points of contact during the 1960s and 1970s, both in the political context and in the theater communities where individuals from one country often traveled or lived in the other. Che Guevara, of course, was an Argentine who fought alongside Fidel and Raúl Castro and was an early architect of the Cuban Revolution and the Cuban playwright Virgilio Piñera lived and worked for many years in Buenos Aires. This time period, one known globally for its turmoil, in Cuba and Argentina was a moment of change that was understood most often through violence. Though each play examined in this book approaches violence in a different way, they all represent it as a way to engage their audiences with the social and political contexts surrounding them and allow us to understand the larger framework of both these two countries and the surrounding historical and social contexts.


Political Context Difficult Time Theater Community Cuban Revolution Prestigious Award 
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© Katherine Ford 2010

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