Evolution of Expressions and Exploitations of Heritage in Theater
How do artists express their own heritage or exploit others through their work? This exhibit attempts to answer that question by viewing it through a uniquely American lens, and comparing two case studies of the Jack Sidney Family Production Company that attributes their success through vaudeville USO show, which featured blackface performances, and the journey of playwright, Silvia Gonzalez S. who took advantage of her own feminine Hispanic heritage by placing those themes throughout her successful and awarded writings. Many theatre scholars argue that vaudeville is the original form of American theatre. This method of production skyrocketed sketches that blatantly represented racist ideology in the early twentieth-century. Over time, however, social movements have reclaimed individual representations of identity to push for unheard voices and cultures to be staged Gonzalez’s work was celebrated for being revolutionary, but it was in having a person from her own background telling her own story that made her successful instead of having an outsider looking in and defaming a group that they did not understand, which was the case of Jack Sidney.