Stages of Conflict

A Critical Anthology of Latin American Theater and Performance
Diana Taylor and Sarah J. Townsend, Editors
Margaret Carson, Translation Coordinator
This fascinating anthology reveals the rich performance history of Latin America from  the sixteenth century to the present


Stages of Conflict brings together a vast array of dramatic texts, ambitiously tracing the intersection of theater and social and political life in the Americas over the past five centuries. Including eighteen works faithfully translated into English, the collection moves from a sixteenth century Mayan dance-drama to a 2003 production by the first published indigenous playwright in Mexico. Historical pieces from the sixteenth century to the present highlight the encounter between indigenous tradition and colonialism, while contributions from modern playwrights such as Virgilio Pinero, Jose Triana, and Denise Stolkos take on the tumultuous political and social upheavals of the past century.

The editors have added comprehensive critical commentary that details the origins of each play, affording scholars and students of theater, performance studies, and Latin American studies the opportunity to view the history of a continent through its rich and diverse theatrical traditions.

"An invaluable resource to teachers of Latin American theater, with texts that provide an accurate panorama of Latin American theater."
—Adam Versenyi, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

"A most welcome and needed collection . . . Not only is it the first English-language anthology of theater and performance in Latin America from the Conquest onward, but it also includes excellent introductory and background material . . . certain to become an essential source book."
—Marvin Carlson, City University of New York

Diana Taylor is Director of The Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics and Professor of Performance Studies and Spanish at New York University. Her books include the award-winning volume The Archive and the Repertoire: Performing Cultural Memory in the Americas.

Sarah J. Townsend is a doctoral student at New York University.

Praise / Awards

  • "Taylor and Townsend's anthology is one of the most welcome and needed new collections to appear in recent years. Not only is it the first English-language anthology of theatre and performance in Latin America from the Conquest onward, it accompanies its nineteen selections from eleven countries with excellent introductory and background material. This is certain to become an essential source book in this rapidly expanded field of theatre and performance study."
    —Marvin Carlson

  • "A rich resource for teachers and students, and for everyone intrigued by the history of performing Latin America. Diana Taylor and Sarah Townsend locate an animating tension between indigenous and colonial performance practices, and between the irreducibly local character of performance and the insistent pressure—as visible in the sixteenth century as in the twenty-first—of a globalizing, often oppressive modernity."
    —W. B. Worthen, Barnard College, Columbia University

  • "A superb introduction affords the reader the rationale for this study, encompassing five centuries of theater and performance. An informative, perceptive essay introduces each piece and author, and ample notes and selected references direct the reader to the additional relevant readings. Competent translations awaken the readers' interest, prompting them to seek more germane works. This is an absorbing, scholarly volume."
    —F. Colecchia, Choice

  • "In any case, Stages of Conflict truly enacts its title inviting us to discover the unforeseen cultural memories that have emerged at the juncture of history and fiction in Latin America."
    —Cecilia Sosa, New Theatre Survey

  • "Stages of Conflict centres (sic) these tensions as its organizing principle and productively presents a view of Latin American theatre and performance unmatched in the field to date."
    The Journal of Theatre Research International

  • "...this anthology is a beneficial addition to the growing collection of translations that show off the rich and diverse theatrical traditions of Latin America." 
    Bulletin of Spanish Studies, Sandra Messinger Cypess, University of Maryland

Look Inside

Copyright © 2008, University of Michigan. All rights reserved.

Product Details

  • 7 x 10.
  • 344pp.
  • 24 B&W Illustrations.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Hardcover
  • 2008
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-07027-5

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  • $95.00 U.S.

  • Paper
  • 2008
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-05027-7

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  • $41.95 U.S.