Abstract

The development of campesino theater by the Peruvian playwright Víctor Zavala Cataño played a pivotal role in underscoring the intellectual and economic divide separating the upper class and the agrarian workers of the high Andean plateau regions of Peru. His theater, which sought to empower the previously dehumanized indigenous laborers from the regions surrounding Ayacucho, simultaneously incorporated the oppressed workers into his theatrical milieu and indoctrinate them into the incipient revolutionary Maoist uprising known as Sendero Luminoso. This essay highlights Zavala Cataño’s implementation and adaptation of Antonio Gramsci’s theories of cultural hegemony and Bertolt Brecht’s dialectal study of socialism and capitalism in his theater. Furthermore, it emphasizes the author’s endeavors to expand the theatrical mise-en-scène to include all of Peru and prepare the Andean campesino for a future role in Sendero’s struggle to overthrow Peruvian democracy.

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