Forging Female Subjectivity on the Commercial Stage in the 1920s and ’30s: Three Plays by María Luisa Ocampo, Concepción Sada, and Alfonsina Storni


  • Margo Echenberg


This study analyses little-studied plays by Mexican playwrights María Luisa Ocampo and Concepción Sada alongside a work by the better-known Argentine Alfonsina Storni. Written and performed in commercial theatres in the 1920s and ‘30s, all three plays portray female protagonists struggling with accepted social and cultural norms regarding marriage and motherhood. By calling attention to the use of the commercial stage as the locus for representing social issues, particularly the performativity of gender roles, this work aims to show that shifts in gender ideology, and in the theatre milieu itself, are representative of the conflicting ideas on and about women during the transitional period of post-revolutionary Mexico. Moreover, the difficulties involved in the formulation of female subjectivity, as expressed through views on marriage and maternity, are presented as crises not only in Mexico but also within the wider scope of Latin American modernity.