News Release

News and Public Information Office
Glos Center
Miami University
Oxford, Ohio 45056
(513) 529-7592
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Usigli centennial celebrated at Miami


Miami University will celebrate the centennial of the birth of playwright Rodolfo Usigli, considered by some the father of modern theatre in Mexico, with the "Rodolfo Usigli Centennial: An Interdisciplinary Commemoration" this fall. Included are an international symposium on modern Mexican theatre, a staged reading of one of Usigli's ground-breaking plays and a library exhibit.

Miami is a logical site for this commemoration as the university is home to the Rodolfo Usigli Archive in its Walter Havighurst Special Collections Library. The award-winning Usigli, born Nov. 17, 1905, believed the objective of theatre was to tell the truth about society; he was also known for his strong representation of women in plays.

“Into the Mainstream: Women in Modern Mexican Drama,” is a public symposium, Nov. 11-12, sponsored by the department of Spanish and Portuguese, focusing on the importance of women in recent drama. The symposium will not only highlight the fact that Usigli designed strong female characters in several of his plays but also that two of Usigli’s protégées, Rosario Castellanos and Luisa Josefina Hernández, became important female voices on the Mexican stage. Symposium participants include internationally known playwright Sabina Berman and Mexican drama specialists Francine A’Ness (Dartmouth College), Jacqueline Bixler (Virginia Tech University), Stuart Day (University of Kansas), Kirsten Nigro (University of Texas-El Paso) and José Luis Ibáñez (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México).

The commemoration includes a public viewing of the film based on Sabina Berman’s play “Entre Villa y una mujer desnuda” (“Between Pancho Villa and a naked woman”) at 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 7, in 46 Culler Hall.

The departments of theatre and Spanish and Portuguese will host Ibáñez, a distinguished Mexican theater director, during a three-week residency Oct. 24 -Nov. 13. Ibáñez will direct a public staged reading of Usigli’s play “The Impostor” (“El gesticulador”) at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 10, and Saturday, Nov. 12, in Studio 88, Center for Performing Arts.

The Walter Havighurst Special Collections Library (3rd floor of King Library) is currently showing “Rodolfo Usigli in Mexican Literature and the Arts,” a semester-long exhibit of materials from the Usigli Archive, the definitive research collection relating to Usigli’s life and career. Accompanying the exhibit will be a Web site about the archive, online in November, which will include biographical information and details about Usigli’s life and career as playwright, theatre historian, educator and diplomat. It will also provide links to visual and documentary materials from the archive, including manuscripts, photographs, correspondence, posters and stage designs of productions of his plays. Special Collections has prepared a descriptive catalog with information about and images of the library exhibit. The catalog will be available electronically and in hard copy.

Also, Ibáñez will be the featured speaker at the general meeting of the Friends of the Miami University Libraries on Friday, Nov. 11.

Miami’s plans are being developed in concert with the Centro Nacional de Investigación Teatral “Rodolfo Usigli” (CITRU), the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), the Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes (INBA), and Universidad Iberoamericana, which will sponsor separate events and exhibits in Mexico. Numerous Miami departments and programs have provided support to the symposium.

For further information contact Ramón Layera, department of Spanish and Portuguese, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio 45056, (513) 529-4502 or


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