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Tragedies

Outside of the wealth of Romeo and Juliet adaptations, Shakespeare's tragedies have been adapted for Latinidad less often than his comedies, although adaptations and concept productions of tragedies have become much more common in the last decade. Most twentieth-century productions staged conflict with Latin American countries through Julius Caesar, and in some cases through Antony and Cleopatra, Coriolanus, and Macbeth. The twenty-first century shows an expansion into re-writings of Hamlet, Othello, and Macbeth.

Scroll down or press these links for productions of Antony and Cleopatra, Coriolanus, Hamlet, Julius Caesar, Macbeth, and Othello.

Antony and Cleopatra

latinx theatre, latinx plays, latinx Shakespeares, Latin American Shakespeare, Latin American Shakespeares

1979 Interart Theatre

New York, NY

Antony and Cleopatra

(dir. Estelle Parsons)

Estelle Parsons directed this production in which Latinx actors played the Romans in opposition to white actors who played the Egyptians.

Coriolanus

1988 The Old Globe

San Diego, CA

Coriolanus

(dir. John Hirsch)

It was Hirsch’s first production at the Old Globe, and with the Iran-Contra Scandal freshly relevant, the titular character had Oliver North resonances, the Romans resembled (white) Americans and the Volscians were Latin American / Latinx.

Old Globe Shakespeare
Latinx Coriolanus

2018 New Carpa Collective

Tempe, AZ

CoriolanU.S.
by Angelica Cabral

(dir. Angelica Cabral)

Cabral adapted Shakespeare's play to the contemporary U.S. to address immigration and police aggression. Coriolanus is half-Latinx and his mother is undocumented.

Courtesy of Angelica Cabral

Hamlet

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2000 Serious Play! Theatre Ensemble

Northampton, MA

HAMLET: Assault On Innocence / Asalto a la Inocencia

Original writing by Migdalia Cruz
Adapted and Directed by Sheryl Stoodley and Jonathan Cro
y

An exploration with nine actors told from a Puerto Rican perspective, here Hamlet and Horatio are involved in a hidden relationship.

Courtesy of Migdalia Cruz

2004 Baruch Performing Arts Center

New York, NY

Twelve Ophelias (a play with broken songs)
by Caridad Svich

(dir. Debbie Saivetz)

Svich's play with music has had a lengthy production history. The action takes place "in a neo-Elizabethan Appalachian setting" with Ophelia, Rude Boy (Hamlet), several other characters, and a Chorus of Ophelias. 

All images courtesy of Woodshed Collective
and from their 2008 production directed by Teddy Bergman
Latino Hamlet

2006 Intersection for the Arts

San Francisco, CA

Hamlet: Blood in the Brain
by Naomi Iizuka

(dir. Jonathan Moscone

Iizuka's transposition of the Hamlet story to late 1980s Oakland took up gun violence and drugs. A collaboration of Bay Area groups, Moscone was the artistic director of CalShakes and the cast was comprised of six ensemble members of Campo Santo. 

2012 Shakespeare in the SummerStage

New York, NY

A King of Infinite Space
by Mando Alvarado

(dir. Jerry Ruiz)

Alvarado set the action on the Lower East Side and adapted the text to modern English. He incorporated the music of Pearl Jam for this theatrical concert event.

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 latinx theatrical adaptation, latinx plays, shakespearean productions and adaptations, latinx Shakespeares, productions and adaptations of Shakespeare's,

2012 The Gregg Barrios Theater at The Overtime 

San Antonio, TX

I-DJ
by Gregg Barrios

(dir. Matthew Byron Cassi)

Barrios' riff on queer Chicanx culture in LA during the height of the AIDS crisis and centers on DJs, including one who is cast in a queer version of Hamlet. It includes a variety of music from the period. The show was later produced for the Frigid Fringe Festival in New York in 2014.

Spanish Shakespeare

2012 Asolo Repertory Theatre

Sarasota, FL

Hamlet, Prince of Cuba
By: Michael Donald Edwards
Translated by: Nilo Cruz

(dir. Michael Donald Edwards)

Edwards shortened the script and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Nilo Cruz did the translation. The production was set in late 1800s Cuba. The cast performed the show entirely in English and on multiple nights, entirely in Spanish. Frankie J. Alvarez, who played Hamlet, writes about his experience in his essay in Shakespeare and Latinidad. This production is featured in Latinx Shakespeares (p.118-122). The theater provides numerous resources.

2013 The Goodman

Chicago, IL

Feathers and Teeth
by Charise Castro Smith

(dir. Henry Godinez)

Castro Smith’s 1970s dysfunctional family drama has Hamlet themes. It was part of the Goodman’s 2013 and 2014 New Stages Festival before its premiere in 2015. It centers on a teenage girl and brings in elements of horror.

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2016 Apollinaire Theatre Company

Chelsea, MA

Ay, Pobre Yorick
by Andrea Rios and Armando Rivera

(dirs. by Andrea Rios and Armando Rivera)

This was a summer student production in which three young female actors played Hamlet in a bilingual show.

Images courtesy of Erin Clossey
queer Latinx Shakespeare, queer Shakespeare, queer Shakespeares

2017 The T.R.U.T.H. Project

Houston, TX

Ofélio
by Josh Inocéncio

Inocéncio queers and re-genders the character of Ophelia in this ten-minute play to address issues of sexual assault.

2017 Caborca

Jersey City, NJ

Hamlet

(dir. Javier Antonio González)

This adaptation "is performed backwards as a female Hamlet retraces her steps. . . Staging is drawn from Gianni de Lucca’s groundbreaking 1977 comic book adaptation." Caborca is a bilingual ensemble devoted to Latinx and experimental arts based in New York.

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House of Sueños by Meme García
Image courtesy of Seattle Shakespeare Company

2017 18th & Union

Seattle, WA

House of Sueños
by Meme García

Meme Garcia first wrote a solo show in 2015 titled House of Sueños for their undergraduate honors thesis. It included lines from various Shakespearean plays and was not based on Hamlet.

In 2017, Garcia performed a new version of House of Sueños that was based on Hamlet and took up at 18th & Union in Seattle. It was a 1-person show for about two years and it was performed in in various spaces. In 2021, it was made into an audio drama, and Garcia was not in it. It deals with trauma and has elements of horror, and it includes multiple Englishes and Spanishes.

 

My essay on Garcia’s development process across the four versions of House of Sueños is in process.

2018 teletúlsa

Tulsa, OK

Hamlet, El Príncipe de Denmark
by Tara Moses

(dir. Tara Moses)

Moses adapted Hamlet for Day of the Dead festivities and integrated ritual into the drama. The production is featured in Latinx Shakespeares (p.122-129).

Photography by: Russell Mills
Courtesy of: Tara Moses
Latinx Hamlet

2021 Shakespeare Dallas

Dallas, TX

Yorick’s Last Laugh: a dead comedy jam wherein he spills the “T” about the Danish royal family
by Migdalia Cruz

This thirty-minute monologue was performed as part of the Hamlet Project along with similar style works.

latinx theatre, latinx plays, latinx Shakespeares, new york shakespeare, bilingual theatre, bilingual shakespeares

2022 Theater for the New City

New York, NY

Hamlet in Harlem
by Alberto Ferreras

Ferreras writes a comedic riff  in which a white filmmaker wants to produce a Hamlet film with an all-Latinx cast, but he doesn't know much about Latinx culture. The play premiered in April 2022 and had a second run in November 2022 due to its success. It garnered three Latino Alternative Theater Awards.

2023 Folger Theatre

Washington, DC

Hamlet
by Reynaldo Piniella and Emily Lyon
Translation by: Christin Eve Cato

(dir. Tatiana Pandiani)

This bilingual Hamlet was in the works in 2019 and delayed due to Covid-19. In 2023, it was part of the Folger's new play festival, The Reading Room. In 2024, it had a reading at The Acting Company in New York.

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Hamlet: La Telenovela; Erin Cowling; FRIGID New York

2023 FRIGID New York

New York, NY

Hamlet: La Telenovela
by FRIGID New York

(dir. ) Federico Mallet

Hamlet told in the style of a telenovela, in Spanish with English subtitles. It was produced by FRIGID NY, Something From Abroad, and Quemoción in July 2023 and extended through several dates through December 2023. The production was 100 minutes without an intermission.

Courtesy of Martha Preve

2024 David Geffen School of Drama at Yale

New Haven, CT

Hamlet, Princesa de Dinamarca
by Juliana Morales Carreño and Sebastián Eddowes-Vargas

(dir. Juliana Morales Carreño)

This bilingual Hamlet centers on a female Hamlet who is a Caribbean migrant.

Courtesy of Juliana Morales Carreño

Julius Caesar

Select pages from the Study Guide
Courtesy of Carla Della Gatta

1969 The Guthrie Theatre

Minneapolis, MN

Julius Caesar

(dir. Edward Payson Call)

Call set the action in an unspecified Latin American country. After West Side Story, this is the earliest Latinx Shakespearean production I have tracked.

1979 American Shakespeare Theatre

Stratford, CT

Julius Caesar

(dir. Gerald Freedman)

Freedman's production included a Castro-esque Latin American setting and multimedia as part of the dramaturgy.

latinx theatre, latinx plays, latinx Shakespeares, Latin American Shakespeare, Latin American Shakespeares
Julio Cesar by John R. Briggs

1986 Florida Shakespeare

Miami, FL

Julio Cesar
by John Briggs and RH Deschamps

(dir. John Briggs)

One of Briggs' cultural adaptations of Shakespeare, this one included a Castro-like Caesar.

Courtesy of John R. Briggs

1988 Philadelphia Drama Guild

Philadelphia, PA

Julius Caesar

(dir. Michael Murray)

Murray used a contemporary setting of an unspecified "banana republic" for this production that included Indigeneity and gender-swapped roles.

latinx theatre, latinx plays, latinx Shakespeares, Latin American Shakespeare, Latin American Shakespeares
latinx theatre, latinx plays, latinx Shakespeares, Latin American Shakespeare, Latin American Shakespeares

1991 Jean Cocteau Repertory

New York, NY

Julius Caesar

(dir. Eve Adamson)

Adamson's production suggested a world of Latin American military juntas.

2014 Casa 0101

Los Angeles, CA

Julius Caesar

(dir. Robert Beltran)

Beltran directed an 18-person cast and made the setting and casting non-time period and non-gender specific. This was the first Shakespeare play for Casa 0101 Theater, which was founded by Josefina Lopez and serves as a cultural and arts center for the community of Boyle Heights. The production was also part of the Encuentro festival, hosted by the Latinx Theatre Commons.

All images courtesy of Casa 0101 Theater
Images courtesy of UCSB Department of Theatre and Dance
from their 2020 production

2017 UC Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara, CA

Trumpus Caesar
by Carlos Morton

(dir. Irwin Appel)

Morton's adaptation is a satirical response to the presidential election of 2016.

Macbeth

1985 La Compañía de Teatro de Alburquerque 

Albuquerque, NM

Macbeth: A Modern Mestizo Story Set In Central America

(dir. David Richard Jones)

One of several shows from La Compañía. The show was set in Central America during the peak of the wars in Nicaragua and Guatemala. Below is an article on the theater. Click the button for an interview with the director about this production.

New Mexican Shakespeares
latinx theatre, latinx plays, latinx Shakespeares, Latin American Shakespeare, Latin American Shakespeares

2003 Commonwealth Shakespeare Company

Boston, MA

Macbeth

(dir. Steven Maler)

CSC set the action in a South American military junta, and the production starred Jay O. Sanders in the titular role. Saheem Ali was assistant director on the show.

2003 East Los Angeles Repertory Theatre Company

East Los Angeles, CA

Macbeth

(dir. Jesus Reyes)

This was the inaugural production for East LA rep. The show was performed at various parks in Boyle Heights and East LA. East LA Rep had a fundraiser, “Mole con Macbeth,” indoors at their then home, La Casa del Mexicano, serving audiences mole after the show. La Casa del Mexicano is a cultural landmark and it was also used to film the 1984 film, Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo.

Flyer courtesy of Jesus Reyes
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 latinx theatrical adaptation, latinx plays, shakespearean productions and adaptations, latinx Shakespeares, productions and adaptations of Shakespeare's,

2004 The Chicago Mammals Theatre Company

Chicago, IL

Mexican Wrestling Macbeth
by Bob Fisher

(dir. Bob Fisher)

Bob Fischer’s Mexican Wrestling Macbeth sets the action amongst the celebrity of Mexican filmmaking and intermixes Shakespeare’s story with themes of numerous Mexican wrestling films. This was one of the many comedic mashups by The Mammals. It was performed again in 2012.

2009 E3Outlaws

New York, NY

Macbeth

(dir. Enmanuel García Villavicencio)

E3Outlaws staged a Spanish-language version of the show.

latinx theatre, latinx plays, latinx Shakespeares, new york shakespeare, bilingual theatre, bilingual shakespeares
All images courtesy of Aurélie Camus

2015 Shakespeare in the Parking Lot

New York, NY

Macbeth

(dir. Jesse Ontiveros)

This production for Shakespeare in the Parking Lot was presented in the lot behind The Clemente, their second show (after a steampunk As You Like It) in that space. The setting was a banana republic, and Ontiveros drew inspiration from the Castro - Che relationship for the Macbeth - Banquo relationship. Shakespeare in the Parking Lot began in 1995, with The Drilling Company beginning to co-produce in 2001. In 2015, they produced five Shakespeare plays.

2016 UC Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz, CA

Marqués: A Narco Macbeth
by Stephen Richter and Mónica Andrade

(dir. Erik Pearson)

Richter and Andrade set the action in Mexico amongst the narcotraficantes. Marqués is the subject of my essay in Shakespeare and Latinidad. The production is available online in two parts beginning with the button below.

Photography by: Erik Pearson
Courtesy of: Kepano Richter
latinx theatre; latinx plays; latinx shakespeares; bilingual theatre; bilingual Shakespeares; bilingual Shakespeare

2016 Connecticut Repertory Theatre

Mansfield, CT

El Beto
by Kalob Martinez

(dir. Kalob Martinez)

Martinez first performed his bilingual one-man puppet adaptation of Macbeth at the MFA Puppet Arts Festival at Connecticut Rep. He performed it again at The Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry in 2018.

Photos courtesy of Ron Holman / Visalia Times-Delta
Poster courtesy of Chris Mangels

2018 College of the Sequoias

Visalia, CA

The Tragedy of Macbeth

(dir. Chris Mangels)

Mangels set the action along the US - Mexico border, retaining Shakespeare's dialogue for 80% of the script and writing his own iambic pentameter for the remainder.

Othello

2009 Promoteo

Miami, FL

Otelo

(dir. Lilliam Vega)

Teatro Promoteo in Miami, the oldest Spanish-language college theatre program in the United States, began a two-year acting intensive program that culminated in a production of Otelo (Othello) at the annual International Hispanic Theatre Festival in 2009. 

Otelo
Courtesy of Lilliam Vega
Latinx Othello

2015 Davenport Theater

New York, NY

Othello

(dir. Daniel Echeverria)

Echevarria set the action in Hispaniola with an all Latinx-cast, with Othello as racially-Black and the rest of the characters racially-white Latinx.

2019 SPIT: Spoken Word Theatre

& A Noise Within

Pasadena, CA

O-Dogg: An Angeleno Take on Othello
by: Alex Alpharaoh

(dir. Julianna Stephanie Ojeda)

Alpharaoh sets the action during the 1992 LA Uprisings with the  Othello character as Afro-Latinx and the Iago characters (played by Alpharaoh) as racially Indigenous Latinx. The Desdemona character is Korean-American, and the street graffiti crew dynamics play out across identities. This play is featured in Chapter Three of Latinx Shakespeares (p.87-94).

All images courtesy of Alex Alpharaoh
All images courtesy of Ulises Rangel

2019 Repertorio Latino Theater Company

Chicago, IL

Hotel-Ó
by Ulises Rangel

(dir. Jose Burgos)

Rangel wrote the play for the third annual Chicago International Latino Theater Festival. It was performed entirely in Spanish and the action took place on a military base. With an all-Latinx cast performing for a Latinx festival, Rangel adapted the play to push against Othello as a jealous and violent Latino.

2020 Rose Bruford College

Sidcup, England

Desdemona's Child
by Caridad Svich

(dir. Steven Dykes)

Svich confronts the legacy of those with these famous names, addressing legacy and trauma that remain even when the character names have changed. Due to the outbreak of Covid-19, this production had one performance for industry guests and assessors before being cancelled. The production scheduled for later that year at Carnegie Mellon was also cancelled due to Covid-19.