The Leper in Blue

Coercive Performance and the Contemporary Latin American Theater

By Amalia Gladhart

The Leper in Blue

246 pp., 6 x 9, notes, index

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-0-8078-9270-1
    Published: January 2000

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Distributed for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Department of Romance Studies

Drawing upon contemporary theoretical debates surrounding performance, gender, and Latin American studies, The Leper in Blue examines representations of performance within dramatic texts. The book treats the work of playwrights such as Vincente Leñero, Sabina Berman, Mariela Romero, Griselda Gambaro, Maruxa Vilalta, and Rosario Castellanos, who depict the freedom of performance within a framework of compulsion.

Individual chapters focus on the transformation of historical narratives, ritual game playing, the performance of gender, the staging of torture, and, finally, nonperformance--the representation of coercive performances that are at once demanded and denied. The plays examined not only raise important questions about the nature of performance but also shed light on many of the crucial sociopolitical issues of twentieth-century Latin America, among them economic instability, political repression, state violence, and dictatorship.