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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Beating the wings of rebellion Prince, Carole Jacqueline


God is old and senile, and a band of female rebel angels are preparing to slay him. This is the setting for Marisol, José Rivera’s 1992 play about the world gone mad, rebel angels packing Uzis, and the apocalypse. Anthropologist Victor Turner specialized in performative genres that exude rebellion: rebellion against God and the everyday world of structured, established life. For Turner, the staged drama of religious ritual and secular theatre is inextricably linked to the social drama of our daily lives. Rebellion in one realm of drama, therefore, can reflect and lead to rebellion in the other. The following is an analysis of Marisol, utilizing Turner’s performance theory, most especially the ever reciprocal relationship between performance and society. The paper will embark on two journeys. The first is an analysis of Rivera’s text, particularly his ingenious depiction of a female rebel angel. The second is an exploration of the reflections and revelations of the cast and crew who performed Marisol, at the University of British Columbia, in March 1994. Both paths will merge to reveal Marisol as an immensely creative work, that challenges and enlightens its viewers and participants to the social tensions that plague their daily lives.

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