El Poder y Educación: Bilingualism and Translation in the American Musical

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Colleen Rua


Historically, Latinx characters on the Broadway stage have been largely stereo­typical and fetishized, as exemplified by performers like Carmen Miranda and Desi Arnaz. The characters they played were othered, and were often identifiable by their use of malapropisms, thick accents, and at times, by a total erasure of language. Indeed, issues surrounding language and translation are at the heart of Latinx representation on the American stage. The treatment of Spanish lan­guage in musical theatre continues to evolve as contemporary Latinx artists seek to revitalize Spanish language in their works as they tell stories of their own communities for audiences comprised of members of their own communi­ties and beyond.

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