History of Mexican Theatre

By Steve Greechie
An Aztec design

Mexico has a long and rich history of theatre dating back to the pre-Columbian period.

Pre-Columbian

The Aztecs were known to have a theatre that included music and dance, as witnessed by the Spanish invaders. Its direct documentation has been lost, but it’s known that early missionaries witnessed it.

17th and 18th Centuries

After the Spanish invasion, a secular theatre developed quickly, and it reflected the traditions and the taste of Spain.

19th Century

The early part of the 19th century exhibited a decline in Mexican theatre, due partly to war. Styles reflected Spanish classicism. Later, however, European romanticism arrived. At the same time, a nationalistic consciousness arose and was reflected in Mexican theatre. New world legends began to arise in Mexican plays in the works of Rodriguez Galvan.

20th Century

Spanish influence remained dominant until the end of the Mexican Revolution, when playwrights began to write in Mexician Spanish. Experimental theatre began to flourish. During the 1950s realism was dominant, and from the 1960s playwrights again began to write daring work.

Today

Theatre is healthy, varied, and widespread throughout Mexico. It reflects the national culture and often its history. Its many forms include street theatre, international theatre, and theatre in the Aztec and Mayan languages.

About the Author

Steve Greechie has been an information professional and writer for ten years. He holds an MBA, an MA, and an MSLIS. He's published in The Boston Business Journal, The Journal of Business and Finance Librarianship, and many other periodicals, and he contributed to The Core Business Web, which the ALA named the best business reference book of 2003.