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Video: Anne García-Romero on playwriting and Latinx theatre

Author: Todd Boruff

 

“The American theatre needs to reflect the cultural complexity of our society on its stages.” 

— Anne García-Romero

Anne García-Romero is associate professor of film, television, and theatre and a faculty fellow in the Institute for Latino Studies. She is a professional playwright as well as a scholar focusing on Latina playwriting. More information can be found at her faculty page.


Video Transcript

My area of focus is both playwriting and theatre studies.

I've been a professional playwright for over twenty years and my plays often deal with the intersection of Latinx and Anglo cultures. I'm bicultural and so I have a Latin father, an Anglo mother, and a lot of my plays really explore how those worlds intersect, through language and character and theme and structure even. And this idea of the American experience as one that is diverse, that's culturally complex, how do we take those narratives and put them on stage.

My work as a scholar focuses on Latina playwriting. My first book focused particularly on the Cuban American playwright Maria Irene Fornes who is an award-winning playwright from New York City, and she was my mentor and the book really looks at how she created her model to examine culture identity and spirituality in Latina culture through her plays, and so in the book I look at five contemporary Latino playwrights whose work is influenced by her, looking at ideas of cultural multiplicity, how these plays really examine the notion of Latina community as a complex community. A lot of my plays are inspired by research.

I'm currently working on a new play about the Spanish playwright and poet Federico Garcia Lorca who came to New York City in and spent nine months there, and so he met the Harlem Renaissance figures, he met people in the American poetry circles, he met the New York intelligentsia, so to speak, and these experiences really shaped him personally and professionally and really created a new way of writing for him and a new way of living.

The American theatre needs to reflect the cultural complexity of our society on its stages. I find the chance to get back to a very basic human experience of storytelling, in a room with strangers who can come together in community and be moved, be inspired, be challenged, be emboldened, I think for me that's why theatre will always be relevant. Theatre is a space for social consciousness raising and a space to express our ideas about how society could be and ought to be, and I think especially in these times it's an important forum to continue that conversation.