css.php
Book Review, Vol. 31 No. 2

Palabras del Cielo: An Exploration of Latina/o Theatre for Young Audiences

Palabras del Cielo: An Exploration of Latina/o Theatre for Young Audiences. Compiled by José Casas with Christina Marín, ed. Woodstock, IL: Dramatic Publishing, 2018; Pp. 581.

Palabras del Cielo: An Exploration of Latina/o Theatre for Young Audiences testifies to the fact that “today’s theatre workers know the value and importance of the next generation,” as Jorge Huerta observes in the forward (9). The book brings together contemporary docudrama, solo performance, and plays with and without music written for young, Latina/o audiences by Latino/a playwrights. The anthology also includes six scholarly articles that conduct in-depth analysis of the plays in the collection; document conversations with leaders in the field; offer pedagogical tools; and ultimately model paradigmatic shifts in the ways Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA) is produced, presented, and taught.

In the introduction, José Casas writes that as an artist of color, he often feels like an “uninvited guest” in the greater landscape of TYA (9). Diane Rodriguez shares this sentiment. In an interview for the collection, she addresses what she calls “the gap,” a disconnection in the field that has not made TYA a means for “building audiences of color over the past 50 years” (88). This 581-page anthology is an attempt to address that gap, featuring plays by Josefina López, Guillermo Reyes, Lisa Loomer, and more. However, it is not a collection begging for an invitation; it is an affirmation of the work that Latina/o/x communities have already been doing for generations. By pairing these plays with essays that engage the themes of the plays in the collection as well as issues in the field of TYA, Palabras del Cielo provides critical tools for degree programs in TYA to center Latina/o plays in their classrooms and on their stages.

| | | Next → |
Need help with the Commons? Visit our
help page
Send us a message
Skip to toolbar