Theses Master's

United States of Banana: A Postcolonial Dramatic Fiction

Felix Torres, Juan Pablo Nicolas

This paper wants to be a recollection of the process of staging the play “United States of Banana”, based on the original text written by Puerto Rican author Giannina Braschi. This work has been widely praised by academics both in and outside the United States and has opened new spaces to reflect on the ideas that concern the Latino population living in the US. These literary expressions are the sign of a vital community that is slowly assuming a historical role in the shaping of the most powerful nation in the planet.
Since I consider theater to be a social thermometer, I chose this play as my thesis project to testify about the state of affairs regarding the situation of Puerto Rico. Its lack of sovereignty and self-regulation constitute a metaphor about the foreign policy the government of the United States has exercised in many countries, but especially in Latin America. However, it is also time to set our own proposals over the table and abandon the paternalist model that justifies and supports our attitude of beneficiaries of the charities coming from the first world.
In this play, characters from Classical literature become symbols of entire races and populations to polish a gigantic mirror in which we can look at ourselves. Despite its scathing humor and harrowing critique, the text helped us create a performative event in 6 which we all, creators and spectators, shared a common responsibility: that of contributing to making a world that is fairer and a society that finds hope more easily.

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M.F.A., Columbia University
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October 13, 2015