Current Research Project

I am writing an academic monograph about 21st century theatre-making by and for US Latinx communities. By situating archival work as a form of activism, we can appreciate how contemporary US Latinx theatre identifies a problem of generational discontinuity. The archival practice of US Latinx theatre employs both performance and institution building to address gaps in community knowledge about US Latinx history and activism. Archival activism finds expression through representation (narrative, visual, sound, and prop elements of a performance) and institutional practices that create new spaces for community building and belonging (oral history projects, educational programming, and social media). US Latinx playwrights see racialization within the United States as generating an important dialogue between distinct ethnic groups–Chicanx, Puerto Rican, Central American, Dominican-American, Cuban-American, and other Latinx and BIPOC writers– about white supremacy within and beyond the US Latinx community.

US Latinx theatre archives a history of US Latinx activism while also opening up the definition of activism to include Other models and voices. Latinx plays reframe historical figures like Lolita Lebron, Minerva Mirabal, and Che Guevara, critique vacuous public protest, and offer an expanded vision of what activism looks like. A coyote leading refugees across the US-Mexico border. An Afro-Latinx woman delivering food to her neighbors during quarantine. A Mexican-American intern saving Gabrielle Gifford’s life. A manifesto whose recipe for resisting a racist and toxic health industry is Chairman Mao’s exercise routine plus bone marrow soup.

Research Funding Support

My residency at the National Humanities Center during the 2022-2023 academic year supported my research and drafting of this monograph on archival activism and US Latinx theatre. I dedicated my fellowship year to identifying over 30 plays for analysis, researching the post-2000 emergence of US Latinx theater institutions, and performing extensive reading and note-taking of secondary sources about library archival practices, BIPOC activism, theatre, performance, and US Latinx studies. I interviewed the founders, artistic directors, and/or commissioned playwrights of: Cara Mía Theatre in Dallas, TX; Borderlands Theater in Tuscon, AZ; CASA 0101 in Los Angeles, CA; Power Street Theatre, Philadelphia, PA; Teatro Público in Cleveland, OH; Delaware Shakespeare Theater Company in Wilmington, DE; Gamut Theatre’s Stage Door Series Ensemble in Harrisburg, PA; and Roadside Theater in Whitesburg, Kentucky. By the conclusion of the NHC fellowship, I completed a draft of the introduction to her book project, Archival Activism and US Latinx Theatre, as well as a fully developed organizational structure for the manuscript.

I’d like to also acknowledge the funding support from Bucknell’s Mellon Grant on “Confounding Problems in the Public Humanities and the Arts,” which enabled me to collaborate with an undergraduate Research Assistant, Magui Torres-Loredo, during Summer 2021. Additionally, Presidential Fellow, Siobhan Nerz, served as a Research Assistant for the project during the 2021-2022 academic year.