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Contemporary Latin American Theatre and Dramatists






100% coursework






Elective Course

This course will focus on key Latin American dramatists and explore some of their important works through the medium of English. Only a broad representative coverage will be possible, but dramatic works by three major women dramatists and two major male dramatists will be studies in depth. The work of Brazilian theatre practitioner and drama theorist, Augusto Boal, with his Theatre of the Oppressed will be assessed in relation to its influence on international contemporary theatre. A Boal and Shakespeare expert from Brazil, Prof Emeritus Aimara da Cunha Resende, will be invited to record a guest keynote lecture on the impact of Boal’s pioneering work, and short extracts from his key texts Theatre of the Oppressed and Aesthetics of the Oppressed will be read and discussed as a follow-up. Boal’s enormous influence in non-mainstream theatre, particularly community theatre and playback (both popular in Hong Kong in recent decades), might well provide interesting material for student’s initial short assessment piece. A representative play by each of three other major Latin-American dramatists, Sabina Berman (Mexico), Ariel Dorfman (Chile) and Griselda Gambaro (Argentina) will be read and discussed, preferably shorter or one-act plays. Dorfman’s internationally performed full-length play and his most famous, Death and the Maiden will be studied in some depth as a key text. An example of the work of U.S.-based Cuban emigrée writer Maria Irene Fornés will illustrate the impact of Latin American dramatic writing and ideas of theatre in North America. General themes will be social and self-identity (including gender), education and empowerment, power relations and responses to trauma, all in the Latin-American context.


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