Required Texts

Castillo, Ana. Psst... I Have Something To Tell You, Mi Amour. Preface by Sister Dianna Ortiz. San Antonio, TX: Wings Press, 2005. ISBN: 9780916727208.

Uno, Roberta, and Kathy A. Perkins, eds. Contemporary Plays by Women of Color. New York, NY: Routledge, 1996. ISBN: 9780415113779.

Calendar of Reading Assignments


Unit I: Introduction and overview

What is culture? And how do we identify culture and performance in American theater? A sharing of family traditions and the creation of "stereotypical" history of immigration to the United States. This unit will provide students with a general overview of basic concepts such as theater, movement, culture, diversity, and composition.

Schechner, Richard. "What is Performance?" In Performance Studies: An Introduction. 1st ed. New York, NY: Routledge, 2002, pp. 1-21. ISBN: 9780415146210.


Unit II: African American theatrical traditions

What are African American traditions of theater? How do music and dance figure in the construction of African American experience on stage? How is the "dancing black body" represented on stages?

Jones, Lisa. "Combination Skin." In Contemporary Plays by Women of Color.

Shange, Ntozake. For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf. New York, NY: Scribner, 1997. ISBN: 9780684843261.


Unit III: Latino/a and Chicano theatrical traditions part I

What sorts of Chicano and Latino/a American theatrical traditions have emerged in the past century? A focus on the plays of Miguel Piñero.

Agarin, Miguel, and Miguel Piñero, eds. "The Book of Genesis According to Saint Miguelito," "La Metadona Está Cabrona," "There is Nothing New in New York," "No Hay Nada Nuevo en Nueva York," "Runnin' Scared," "A Poem for Joey's Mami's Struggle," and "Seeking the Cause." In Nuyorican Poetry: An Anthology of Puerto Rican Words and Feelings. New York, NY: William Morrow & Company, 1975, pp. 62-75. ISBN: 9780688079666.

Piñero, Miguel. Short Eyes. New York, NY: Hill and Wang, 1975. ISBN: 9780374521479.


Unit IV: Asian American theatrical traditions

How can theater express Asian American cultural heritage? What sorts of stories do Asian diaspora playwrights chose to tell? A consideration of David Henry Hwang's M. Butterfly.

Son, Diana. "R. A. W." In Contemporary Plays by Women of Color.

Unit V: Latina/Chicana theatrical traditions part 2

Visiting Artist Ana Castillo will come work with us on her play.

MLK Visiting Professor Ana Castillo is a novelist, poet, essayist and painter who has used every means necessary—the clack of typewriters, the flap of mimeograph machines, the thwip of copiers, the tick of e-mail and her personal blog—to tell the tales that had to be told.

Castillo, Ana. Psst... I Have Something To Tell You, Mi Amour.

Unit VI: Reaching beyond diversity

How can we reach beyond the rubric of diversity to explore particular histories and theatrical methodologies?

Donkin, Ellen. "Black Text, White Director: Issues of Race and Gender in Directing African American Drama" In Upstaging Big Daddy: Directing Theater as if Gender and Race Matter. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 1993, pp. 79-87. ISBN: 9780472065035.

lê thi diem thúy. "The Bodies Between Us." In The Color of Theater: Race, Culture, and Contemporary Performance. Edited by Roberta Uno. New York, NY: Continuum International Publishing Group, 2005, pp. 322-343. ISBN: 9780826478818.

24-25 Final group projects