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Cuba Inside Out

Revolution and Contemporary Theatre

Yael Prizant

Publication Year: 2013

The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989 drastically altered life in Cuba. Theatre artists were faced with new economic and social realities that changed their day-to-day experiences and ways of looking at the world beyond the island. The Cuban Revolution’s resistance to and intersections with globalization, modernity, emigration and privilege are central to the performances examined in this study. The first book-length study in English of Cuban and Cuban American plays, Cuba Inside Out provides a framework for understanding texts and performances that support, challenge, and transgress boundaries of exile and nationalism.  Prizant reveals the intricacies of how revolution is staged theatrically, socially, and politically on the island and in the Cuban diaspora. This close examination of seven plays written since 1985 seeks to alter how U.S. audiences perceive Cuba, its circumstances, and its theatre.

Published by: Southern Illinois University Press

Title Page, Copyright Page

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Contents

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pp. vii-

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-x

When I began this journey over ten years ago, I could never have imagined just how many minds and hearts would influence this book. Most recently, I am grateful for the support I have received from the University of Notre Dame. The Kellogg Institute for International Studies generously funded my research and documentation in Cuba, and the Institute for Latino Studies continually...

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1. Overture: Cuba and the Evolution of Revolution

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pp. 1-25

In 1968, celebrated Cuban playwright Antón Arrufat won the José Antonio Ramos prize—the country’s top award for drama—for his play Siete contra Tebas (Seven against Thebes). Highly lauded by UNEAC, the Unión Nacional de Escritores y Artistas en Cuba (Cuban National Union of Writers and Artists), Arrufat’s adaptation...

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2. Staging Revolutions: Past and Present Conversations

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pp. 26-57

The Cuban Revolution of 1959 was undoubtedly spectacular: it was a rare and extraordinary series of events that played out in a public display of impressive scale. Events like the guerilla army proudly streaming into Havana on New Year’s Day or the sight of a white dove landing on Castro’s shoulder as he spoke to crowds...

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3. Revolution under Siege: Theatre, Globalization, and the Special Period

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pp. 58-86

In August 1990, the Cuban government officially recognized that the nation’s economic situation was unsustainable and demanded drastic measures be undertaken during what it called El periódo especiál (the Special Period). The previously inconceivable demise of the Soviet Union left Cuba and its inhabitants in financial turmoil...

Gallery of Illustrations

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4. Revolution from Afar: Cuban American Perspectives

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pp. 87-114

On 13 August 2006, Cuban president Fidel Castro celebrated his eightieth birthday, although recovering from major surgery and ominously absent from view. Miami Cubans who identify as political refugees danced in the streets at the news of Fidel’s failing health but were also forced, yet again, to acknowledge his spectacular longevity...

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5. Para Siempre: Staging the Future

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pp. 115-129

Fidel Castro’s perplexing remarks in recent interviews have raised vital questions about Cuba’s direction. Despite claims that his remarks were misinterpreted, a frail but alert Fidel acknowledged to the Associated Press that Jeffrey Goldberg had in fact accurately quoted him in the Atlantic Monthly conceding the failure of the...

Notes

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pp. 133-141

Bibliography

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pp. 143-151

Index

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pp. 153-160

Author Biography

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pp. 161-

Theater in the Americas Series

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pp. 162-

Other Books in the Theater in the Americas Series

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pp. 163-164

Back Cover

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E-ISBN-13: 9780809333097
E-ISBN-10: 0809333090
Print-ISBN-13: 9780809333080
Print-ISBN-10: 0809333082

Page Count: 192
Illustrations: 22
Publication Year: 2013

Series Title: Theater in the Americas
Series Editor Byline: John Smith, Will Wordsworth