In 1976 a dozen hopeful young Mexican dramatists – most of them studying with Emilio Carballido – began staging plays, primarily in small, out-of-the-way theater, and publishing them, mostly in university magazines with limited distribution. Until now, more than twenty years later, there has been no comprehensive study devoted either to this original group of writers or to those who followed in the same generation, and no central source of information about them or their production. Although they continue to produce more plays every year, they represent a lost generation.
Ronald Burgess now offers the first extensive study of this group of playwrights and their work. Included is discussion of over 200 plays by more than 40 writers, but the work of nine key playwrights is examined in depth. Most of these dramatists concern themselves with the state of Mexico today, reacting to current social conditions with depictions ranging from violence to guarded hope to anguished hopelessness. Many look to their nation's history and culture for explanations.
In his illuminating study, Burgess places this theatrical generation in the context of contemporary Mexican society and literature, employing a wide variety of analytic approaches to highlight essential characteristics of these representative authors.
Ronald D. Burgess is associate professor of Spanish at Gettysburg College.