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Traveling Troupes: The Performance of Puerto Rican Identity in Plays by Luis Rafael Sánchez and Myrna Casas

Camilla Stevens
Hispania
Vol. 85, No. 2 (May, 2002), pp. 240-249
DOI: 10.2307/4141051
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4141051
Page Count: 10
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Traveling Troupes: The Performance of Puerto Rican Identity in Plays by Luis Rafael Sánchez and Myrna Casas
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Abstract

In Puerto Rican theater, the debate on the production and interpretation of national culture has played out primarily in the space of the family. In Luis Rafael Sánchez's Quíntuples (1984) and in Myrna Casas's "El gran circo eukraniano" (1988), the motif of traveling family acting troupes provides ways of imagining Puerto Rican identity beyond the colonialist-nationalist polarity that has framed long-standing discussions on the island's political status and cultural identity. In both plays, the construction of multiple performance spaces implicit in the migratory condition of the troupes and the lack of a set distinguished by the family home, a structure that could delimit a particular vision of the nation, highlight a desire to investigate and defend identities not bound by nationalism. Likewise, the presence of performing families and the use of performance as an activity to explore identity exposes the instability of the national family construct as a foundation for collective identity.

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