In the canon of Chicano theatre, the law holds a prominent role; the relationship between Chicanos and the law is a theme explored widely across Chicano theatre in both comedy and tragedy. This paper discusses how the comedy of Chicano theatre conceals the insidiousness of unchallenged racial stereotypes and acts as a safety valve to release the pressures of an abjected community. Yet, where comedy conceals the structure of abjection, drama critically challenges the status quo Chicano drama is capable of questioning the authority of the dominant hegemony over the cultures it oppresses. Beginning from a framing of the law as the tool through which the dominant culture abjects the Chicano, the law has an always-already assumption of Chicanos as law-breaking and purposely ignores their existence until arbitrary punishment is applied and serves as the site of trauma for Chicanos, this paper considers three Chicano dramas, Zoot Suit, The Many Deaths of Danny Rosales, and Santos & Santos, to interrogate the presence of the law, through the tropes of trials and courtrooms, in Chicano theatre.
Maria P. Amon,
Serving 99 to 149 Years for Wearing Butt-Huggers and Resisting to Subscribe to Cable TV: The Presence of the Law in Chicano Theatre,
Available at: https://scholarship.law.columbia.edu/law_culture/17