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Latinx Shakespeares are productions and adaptations of Shakespeare's works that are made Latinx through settings, themes, and dramaturgy.

This archive includes Latinx Shakespeares plus Latinx-authored and/or Latinx themed productions and adaptations of Shakespeare, as well as of other writers.

About This Site

Ten key questions for and about the archive

1. What is an online living archive? Why have one?

Theatre is an ephemeral art form that is difficult to document because every performance is different. Every performance is an adaptation. The pleasure of live theatre is just that: anything can happen.

 

The history of theatre isn't just about famous actors and prominent theater-houses. It involves smaller, regional, and community theaters, festivals that run for a year or a decade and then end, and university productions that often don't get reviewed outside their campus. 

Along with archiving Latinx theatrical adaptation, this is an experiment in running a theatre archive as a curated wiki. Contributors can complete the Contact Form and then submit reviews, interviews, photographs, and more, and I will edit and maintain the site. If we can archive the intersections of Shakespeare and Latinidad in this manner, we can expand the reach of the archive.

The purpose of archiving theatre (or anything) is to preserve it and provide a historical record. Many archives reside in buildings, which require resources (time, money, ability) to visit. What an archive includes depends on what is available, who donated items. Often archives (historically) feature the records and perspectives of those in prominent positions. This archive democratizes access and writes an inclusive history.

At its launch in February 2023, over twenty-five contributors gave their time and words to reviews and interviews, and over one hundred and fifty artists granted permission to post their production images, marketing posters, and theatre ephemera. As it continues to grow, the number of voices will as well.

2. What is "Latinx"?

Latinx are peoples who live in the United States and are descended from Spanish colonialism.

"Hispanic" is a language-based term, encompassing those from Spanish-language dominant countries, including Spain, the countries in Latin America (often including Brazil, which is Portuguese-dominant), and most of the Caribbean, whether Spanish is the official or dominant language. 

"Latinx" is a geography-based term, encompassing those who are descended from, or a product of, Spanish colonialism who live in the United States. It includes those from all of the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, and does not include Spain. It brings together people who speak any language(s).

According to the US government, and on official forms such as the census and birth certificates, there are four races: white/Caucasian, Black/African American, Indigenous/Native American, and Asian. Hispanic/Latino is classified as an ethnicity, and those who are Hispanic/Latino can be of any one or more races. These terms are homogenizing yet they can also be empowering. The demographic categories in other countries vary greatly from those in the United States, and within the US, the categories themselves have shifted and changed over the years. 

Latinx peoples use many iterations of the term "Latino". Spanish is a gendered language, and variations have included Latin, Latino, Latino/a, Latina/o, Latin@, Latin-X, Latinx, Latinxs, Latine, Latiné, and Latino/a/x/e. Some prefer more specific terms such as Tejanx, Chicanx, Nuyorican, Cuban-American, Puerto Rican, etc. 

 

The heterogeneous peoples who are Latinx vary in our preferences of terminology, and terminology will continue to shift over time and by region. This means that some people consider certain terms problematic while others embrace those very terms. It signals that language play is germane to Latinidad, and Latinidad involves an ongoing conversation about identity that cannot be separated from language.

"Latinidad" is a presentist term that means "Latinity" and encompasses Latinx cultures, aesthetics, and practices (e.g. Hispanidad for Spanishness). 

3. Why is Shakespeare pluralized - "Shakespeares"? 

The pluralization of Shakespeare signals a democratic and interdisciplinary approach. Shakespeare holds different meaning to everyone, even though his works are ubiquitous in U.S. American culture. "Shakespeares" also signals a Cultural Studies approach, in line with Ethnic Studies, Latinx Studies, African American Studies, etc., that pushes against the singularity of older disciplines such as English, History, and Literature.

4. What is included in the archive? What isn't?

This archive includes five types of plays and productions: 

1) Latinx Shakespeares - Latinx-themed Shakespeare productions and adaptations.  Some are concept productions, when Latinx culture(s) is integrated into Shakespeare's play for a specific production. Others are adaptations, where changes to Shakespeare's plays are made at the script level. 

 

2) It also includes Latinx-authored adaptations of canonical western writers such as Greek playwrights, Spanish Golden Age playwrights, Spanish playwright Federico García Lorca, and other canonized writers. These plays may or may not have a Latinx theme or setting. 

 

3) Latinx-themed (but not authored) adaptations of canonical western writers. These are less common, and often Latinx theatre-makers are involved in the development and production processes.

4) Bilingual and semi-bilingual productions and adaptations of Shakespeare and other canonical western writers. For more on different types of bilingual classical theatre, listen here, and for strategies for creating it, see here.

5) Productions of the classics by Latinx theaters with Latinx casts. 

*Plays must have a reading (outside of a university setting) or a staging to be included in the archive.

**What's not included are productions that merely starred or included a Latinx actor, director, or character. 

5. Are there Latinx Shakespearean films? Are there key directors and actors?

See the Blog page for my monthly blog. I address these questions as well as others. At the time of launch, the site includes the first two blogs: Latinx Shakespeares in the United Kingdom and my reflection on Latina actresses of the 1970s. Upcoming blogs will include bilingual versus semi-bilingual theatre, international and borderlands theatre, Latinx theatre festivals, and an in-depth look at the careers of several Latinx Shakespearean artists such as José Ferrer and Raúl Juliá.

6. How do I use this site?

This site is organized by genre of Shakespeare's plays: tragedies, comedies, romances, histories, Romeo and Juliet, and plays inspired by Shakespeare. See the Shakespeare page for more on why Romeo and Juliet has its own page and other details. Within each genre, Shakespeare plays are listed alphabetically, and then productions and adaptations are organized chronologically by their first production. For other western classics, they are organized by era and region.  

The archive is uneven because resources about productions are uneven, especially for older shows. For others, there are scripts, reviews, videos, and/or ephemera (programs, posters, etc.). In some cases, I have information about the plays and productions, and I more than welcome reviewers to write a review.

The site is intended for scholars, artists, and anyone curious about theatre to learn about performance, adaptation, bilingual and semi-bilingual theatre, Latinx theatre and theatre-makers, and Shakespeare. Please cite the archive in your essays, theatre programs, research, etc., as a resource and credit contributors appropriately. All images and ephemera have been posted with permission from theaters and artists. They may not be reproduced or re-posted without permission.

7. How can I contribute to the archive?

Please complete the Contact Form. If there is a production you wish to review, please let me know. If you would like to contribute but are not sure how to do so, I can make recommendations based on your interests. If you are new to reviewing and documenting theatre, you are welcome to contribute. The contributions of scholars, artists, theatre-goers, and more are welcomed and integral to the archive. If you were directly involved with a production or you are the playwright of an adaptation, you may absolutely write about it for the archive. This archive depends on the voices of artists to inspire the next generation of artists. 

The archive does not accept derogatory or defamatory essays of any kind.

8. Where can I view these productions?

Whenever a full video or audio recording of a production is available, there is a "View Performance" button that links to the production. On the Resources page, I list and link to all of the plays and productions for which there are full performances online. The Home Page lists upcoming and current shows. 

The archive does not include scripts. More than half of the adaptations on this site are concept productions, where Latinidad was integrated into the production through one or more of various strategies - textually, linguistically, dramaturgically, sonically - and the production script would not necessarily denote those strategies fully to a reader.

Many playwrights have published their work, and other plays are still in development. Plays often go through workshops, readings, and several productions before being published. If you purchase or ascertain a script, you must have permission and secure rights in order to perform it.

9. Are there resources for making theatre?  For studying Shakespeare?

See the Resource page. It includes links to the following: making and studying bilingual theatre, books of monologues and plays that are in both Spanish and English, websites with Shakespeare productions, resources for Spanish Golden Age theatre and theatre in translation, websites with interviews with playwrights of color, and theaters and resources for Latinx theatre.

10. What about the rest of Latinx Theatre? Or other "diverse" Shakespeares?

I started with this subset of theatre - of both Latinx theatre and of American Shakespeares - because I have researched it for more than a decade. I want theatre history to be accessible and to be told by the people who make and attend to it. Please let me know how this archive is of use to you, so I can better understand how it can be expanded and enriched. See the Resources page for information on Latinx theatre and Shakespeare.

About Me

Latinx Shakespeares

For more on listening to Shakespeare, see (and hear) my podcast "How We Hear Shakespeare's Plays" from the Folger Shakespeare Library's Shakespeare Unlimited podcast series.

I grew up in LA and my father was multilingual and a Spanish for Native Speakers teacher who took us to the theatre all the time. Mom was an English teacher who loved Shakespeare. Music, dance, theatre, Spanish, English, and my mixed-ethnic, Colombian-Jewish heritage intersected without much regard or desire for keeping them separate.

 

I had a long road into academia, and when I entered my PhD program, I thought I would write a dissertation on US Shakespeare festivals. When I couldn't find any scholarship on Latinx peoples in Shakespeare, I was asked, several times, “Do Latinos do Shakespeare?” I was dumfounded, and I responded with a defiant “Yes.”

 

But then I had to prove it. When I began my research, I had tracked seven Latinx Shakespearean productions. I reached out to artists and theaters, visited archives all over the country, and when I finished my PhD, that number had risen to over forty.

 

After more than a decade, in January 2023, I published the first-ever book on Latinx-themed Shakespeare productions. I have assembled this archive that at its launch in February 2023, includes more than 150 Latinx Shakespeares, 30+ bilingual and/or Latinx-authored (but not themed) Shakespearean adaptations, and nearly 100 Latinx-themed and/or authored adaptations of other western literatures.

 

There are no Latinx characters in Shakespeare. But Latinx peoples, themes, culture, aesthetics, and theatre-makers are all part of the history of Shakespeare. I have learned a lot about myself from this journey - about my personal history, my languages, and how art shapes and reflects the world. 

This archive is a testament to all of these histories.

                                               

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How This Site Was Made

I built this website myself. I am not a web designer, so I had (and will have) a lot of learnings along the way. At the outset, I had tracked over 90% of the plays and productions that appear here, and in the course of reaching out to scholars, artists, and theaters, I learned of more. I reached out to people from all over the country to ask if they would contribute. I contacted over 250 theaters and theatre-makers to ask their permission to include photos and ephemera. 

I learned so much from wonderful colleagues and friends who spoke with me about this project. In 2022, I received the Susan Snyder Fellowship from the Folger Shakespeare Library that allowed me to work on this project in the summer months.

The Latinx Shakespeares logo, a Day of the Dead corona (crown) atop

an Elizabethan ruff (collar), forms the shape of a new Globe for the

twenty-first century.

The image is copyrighted in all of its variations.

I extend my sincerest thanks to all

who have contributed to this archive.

Latinx Shakespeares logo

LatinxShakespeares.Org is a non-profit site.
This is an online, living, and growing archive of Latinx Theatre Adaptation. 

Please credit all artists and scholars appropriately.

Please cite the archive in your dramaturgical and scholarly research.

All images and ephemera have been posted with permission from theaters and artists.

They may not be reproduced or re-posted without permission.

I built and paid for this site myself because of my love for theatre and theatre-makers.

I will be managing it as editor and adding to it each month.

All donations go to maintenance of the site.

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