Coming Home: US-Latinos on the Broadway Stage.
Abstract: The image of the Latino/a immigrant and the first-generation
US-Latino/a on the American musical theatre stage is ever-evolving and is tied to issues of
stereotyping, identity and cultural authenticity. This dissertation focuses on three
Broadway musicals in order to explore the place and significance of the Latino/a character
and culture with regard to the search for and construction ... read moreof "home." The representative
musicals considered in this study are: West Side Story (1957)
and its 2009 revival, The Capeman (1998), and In
the Heights (2008). Through a thorough investigation of these musicals and
their original Broadway productions, I examine the ways in which theatre artists have
represented Latino/a identity and space and the impact of these representations on both
Latino and non-Latino audiences. Over the past fifty years, the perspective of Latino home
in the Broadway musical has shifted away from the idea of the American Dream and toward a
self-constructed space that is a creation and reflection of bicultural identity. After an
introduction to the theoretical models referred to in this study and an overview of current
issues relevant to the Latino/a in the United States, I outline the history of the Latino/a
on the Broadway musical stage, paying special attention to the musicals of the World War II
era. Chapters two, three and four each focus on a different method whereby the artists
associated with the representative musicals have treated Latino/a characters. These methods
include: the use of Spanish language, memory and nostalgia, and the New York City barrio as
setting. Through interviews, translating Spanish passages, analyzing lyrics and dialogue
and considering choices made in performance, I demonstrate changes in character
relationships, the assertion of power through language and education, the connections
between cultural identity and memory and the idea of home as a public
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Tufts University, 2011.
Submitted to the Dept. of Drama.
Advisor: Barbara Grossman.
Committee: Downing Cless, Claire Conceison, and Iani Moreno.
Keywords: Theater, and Latin American studies.read less
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