Latinx Theater in the Times of Neoliberalism

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ISBN 978-0-8101-3645-8
Publication Date
November 2017
Page Count
264 pages
Trim Size
6 x 9

Latinx Theater in the Times of Neoliberalism

Patricia A. Ybarra

Latinx Theater in the Times of Neoliberalism traces how Latinx theater in the United States has engaged with the policies, procedures, and outcomes of neoliberal economics in the Americas from the 1970s to the present.

Patricia A. Ybarra examines IMF interventions, NAFTA, shifts in immigration policy, the escalation of border industrialization initiatives, and austerity programs. She demonstrates how these policies have created the conditions for many of the most tumultuous events in the Americas in the last forty years, including dictatorships in the Southern Cone; the 1994 Cuban Rafter Crisis; femicides in Juárez, Mexico; the Zapatista uprising in Chiapas, Mexico; and the rise of narcotrafficking as a violent and vigorous global business throughout the Americas.

Latinx artists have responded to these crises by writing and developing innovative theatrical modes of representation about neoliberalism. Ybarra analyzes the work of playwrights María Irene Fornés, Cherríe Moraga, Michael John Garcés, Caridad Svich, Quiara Alegría Hudes, Victor Cazares, Jorge Ignacio Cortiñas, Tanya Saracho, and Octavio Solis. In addressing histories of oppression in their home countries, these playwrights have newly imagined affective political and economic ties in the Americas. They also have rethought the hallmark movements of Latin politics in the United States—cultural nationalism, third world solidarity, multiculturalism—and their many discontents.
About the Author

PATRICIA A. YBARRA is an associate professor of theater arts and performance studies at Brown University and the author of Performing Conquest: Five Centuries of Theater, History, and Identity in Tlaxcala, Mexico. She has served as president of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE).

"Beautifully written, brilliantly conceptualized, informative at every turn; in short it is convincing and extraordinary… Latinx Theater is the most interesting analysis of neoliberalism and hemispheric culture that I have read. Given its trenchant and provocative theorizing of political economy, Latinx Theater will shape the field of performance studies more broadly for the next generation." —Mary Brady, author of Extinct Lands, Temporal Geographies: Chicana Literature and the Urgency of Space

"Through her analysis of two dozen plays (mostly Mexican and Cuban) written since 1992, Ybarra... shows the impact of neoliberalism on people and cultures as presented in theatrical forms ranging from testimonio and verbatim theater to pieces replete with ghosts and/or corpses... Ybarra is a powerful advocate for the plays, especially in the last three of the four chapters. Recommended." —CHOICE Reviews

"Latinx Theatre in the Times of Neoliberalism masterfully explores the previous quarter century of Latinx theater and its engagement with hemispheric neoliberalism. This is a groundbreaking text in theater and performance studies." —Noe Montez, author of Memory, Transitional Justice, and Theatre in Postdictatorship Argentina

"In this impressive work, Ybarra elucidates the careful, critical intervention of Latinx playwrights into the complex space of neoliberalism. This book reminds us of the possibilities of political critique beyond representation that emerge from careful attention to crafting work for the theatrical stage.”
–Jon D. Rossini, author of Contemporary Latina/o Theater: Wrighting Ethnicity