series was part of the pilot project for the Hollis International Scholars
Mentored Field Program, in which students investigated the Spanish-language theatre of Miami and Puerto Rico as both audience and performers. The project as a whole was co-conducted by Dr. Iliana Mankin and myself (see the Hollis International Scholars Theatre Project page for more information and photos).
The program has become a regular feature of Stetson's
Latin American Studies program.
This production consisted of four one-act plays: two in English, one in Spanish, and one bi-lingual play by student Mark Kenneally.
La historia del hombre que se convirtió en perro (The Story of the Man Who Turned into a Dog), by the Argentinian playwright Osvaldo Dragún, is an absurdist piece with shades of Kafka in which an unemployed man is forced to take a job as a guard dog. It was chosen to represent the area of Latin American drama, and was performed in the original Spanish.
15 Minute Hamlet by Tom Stoppard, is a condensation of Shakespeare's masterpiece into fifteen minutes; as expected, it is tumultuous with plenty of laughs. This piece was chosen to represent contemporary English-language theatre, and was performed in English.
Libaciones (Libations) is a tongue-in-cheek piece written by one of the actor-participants, Mark Kenneally, in which a bartender discovers a double meaning behind his customers' consistent loss of consciousness. As an original work, this piece was meant to represent a more personal perspective on the contemporary American theatre. It was a truly bi-lingual play, having been performed in a mix of English and Spanish.
The final play, and the one most directly relevant to the project, is The Great American Justice Game by the Emmy-Award-winning documentary film-maker, historian, and playwright Miguel González-Pando. The play is a keen satire of ethnicity in white America, experienced through a grotesque parody of "Court-TV" in which a young Hispanic woman is put on trial for her use of the Spanish language. The author is a prominent member of Miami's Hispanic community, and a member of the Latino Studies faculty at Florida International University. These Hollis International Scholars have received special permission to give this play its first full production.