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African American Theatre

August Wilson (1945-2005)

  • Playwright

  • Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

  • Fences

  • The Piano Lesson (Pulitzer Prize)

  • Works concentrate on African American identity

and quests for fulfillment and dignity

Latino Theatre

Second to African American Theatre as the most extensively developed alternative theatre in the USA

First known play staged in what is now the USA = performance by Spanish soldiers in El Paso in 1598

Late 19th century, Spanish-language theatre became common in USA

  • 1918-1930s = 5 professional Spanish-language

theatres in Los Angeles + touring companies

4/15/2009

African American Theatre

Contemporary Trends and Practices

Latino Theatre

  • 1960s = broader impact of Latino theatre on the wider American

consciousness El Teatro Campesino

  • Bilingual Chicano company

  • Founded by playwright Luis Valdez in 1965

  • Early works called attention to plight of migrant workers

Maria Irene Fornes

  • Cuban American playwright

  • 6 awards for Off-Broadway productions

  • Fefu and Her Friends

  • The Conduct of Life

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