Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name





Jean Graham-Jones

Committee Members

Peter Eckersall

David Savran

Cristián Opazo


Dramaturgy, Cultural Policy, Democracy, Chile, Theatre, Performance


This dissertation examines the relationship between performance, cultural policy, and citi­zenship in Chile (1979-present). Through emblematic case studies of key performance interventions (including the work of the Colectivo Acciones de Arte [CADA], Andrés Pérez, Manuela Infante, and Guillermo Calderón), intertwined with analyses of cultural policy and political discourse, I ask how Chilean performance dramaturgically enacts forms of democratic citizenship—first during Pinochet’s dictatorship as a hoped-for future and later, fol­lowing the democratic transition, as a present, if incomplete, reality. Re­sponding to the vexed transitions to democracy, scholarship on Latin American theatre and performance has emphasized its resistance to the state. I complicate this formulation by examining how these per­formances have been shaped by the political and institutional structures contingent to their produc­tion and by considering how critical po­litical performance is a category produced, in part, by the state. I therefore develop a model that allows for a more nuanced understanding of the performing arts to poli­tics—one that accounts for an interdepend­ent, sometimes paradoxical, and often mutu­ally constitutive dynamic.

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