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Outside Theater

Alliances That Shape Mexico

Stuart A. Day

Publication Year: 2017

Taking a cue from influential French philosopher Jacques Rancière, who in The Emancipated Spectator rejects the idea of the passive, ignorant, duped spectators in need of instruction to become active, Stuart A. Day’s goal in Outside Theater is to highlight written words and performances that exemplify effective strategies, past and present, to reveal and promote civic engagement, to provoke disruptions, or to highlight fissures—and opportunities—in oppressive social structures.



Through the study of one or two primary models per chapter, as well as multiple examples in the introduction and conclusion, Day presents Mexican plays from 1905 to 2015, including the 2010 Mexico City performance of Zoot Suit by Chicano playwright Luis Valdez. Using these plays, Day explores the concept of “outside theater,” where people or groups translate the tools of the theatrical trade to a different stage, outside the walls of the theater, and play the part of fictional or real life Celestinas—matchmakers who unite seemingly disparate entities to promote social awareness and social action by working the borders between life and art.



Each work in this innovative analysis reveals productive social connections that, with the help of crucial artistic alliances, contradict the perception that art is somehow secondary to or disconnected from the public sphere of influence and the struggles of everyday life. With this book, Day shows that Mexican theater can and does bolster civil society and thus the country’s fragile democracy.

Published by: University of Arizona Press

Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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pp. i-iv

Contents

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pp. v-vi

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Acknowledgments

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pp. vii-2

More than any project I’ve worked on, this book reflects my belief that art impacts—and helps us to understand—our world. It’s a luxury to be surrounded by art in all of its forms, and, in the case of this book, to work with so many people who have helped me to better express this...

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Introduction. Outside Theater

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pp. 3-31

A rogue priest, a veritable jester from colonial times, is brought to life on a Mexico City stage to interrogate the use of religious imagery in present-day political campaigns. In 1905, an ally of the perennially elected dictator Porfirio Díaz writes and subsequently stages a surprisingly revolutionary...

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1. Allies in 1822: Humoring the Limits of Colonial Mexico

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pp. 32-53

The beginnings of Mexican Independence were marked by the presence of Spanish forces in Veracruz, a Mexican emperor (Agustín de Iturbide) who had battled brutally on the side of Spain for most of his military career, and the unpleasant sensation among many that the more...

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2. Performing the Porfiriato: Federico Gamboa and Allied Negotiation

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pp. 54-77

A president com es to power under questionable circumstances with the support of conservative forces in Mexico and abroad. Pro-business and other major newspapers publish editorials in the United States that hail the newly elected leader as a friend of progress, while in Mexico the political...

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3. Zoot Suit Allies and the “Arizona Law”

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pp. 78-105

Night after night at the Mexico City production of Luis Valdez’s play Zoot Suit, when the character Smiley tells Hank that he is going to move his family to Arizona, the crowd of Mexican spectators “explodes in a unified thunderous response,” writes Alma Martinez, the Facebook voice...

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4. Moderating the “Ignorant Masses” and the Emergence of Internet Allies

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pp. 106-129

Theater holds a mirror up to the audience. Sometimes it does so literally, as at the end of Ariel Dorfman’s play La muerte y la doncella, where in the last scene, after the audience has witnessed a South American torture trial unfold on stage, a large mirror is lowered. Audience members see...

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5. Documentary Allies: Sabina Berman and Victor Hugo Rascón Banda

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pp. 130-157

When Sabina Berman invited the mothers of a group of young men and women who had been kidnapped from a Mexico City nightclub (and later murdered and buried on a ranch) to her TV Azteca program Shalalá (Anything Goes), she walked a fine line between journalistic...

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Conclusion. “A Veces el Pato Nada”: Educational Allies and Tools for Change

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pp. 158-172

This book is about Mexico , but it was a trip to Medellín, Colombia, that shook me from the cynical view that the social power of art is passé at best and at worst an escape valve to buttress the ever-regenerative status quo. My time in Medellín was expected to be one of those predictable...

Notes

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pp. 173-202

Works Cited

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pp. 203-214

Index

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pp. 215-224


E-ISBN-13: 9780816536245
E-ISBN-10: 0816536244
Print-ISBN-13: 9780816535453
Print-ISBN-10: 0816535450

Page Count: 232
Illustrations: 2 b&w illustrations
Publication Year: 2017

OCLC Number: 975233210
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Outside Theater