Latinx Performance in the 21st Century
Theatre on the borderlands is a genre of performance traditionally entrenched in rigid definitions of gender, but the genre also contains a refutation of the universalizing mantle of whiteness and a firm retention of Chicano cultural specificity. This tension between resistance and compulsion extends to the genre’s rigid gender roles. Borderlands theatre both holds to and responds to gender roles. Herbert Siguenza’s work in Bad Hombres/Good Wives, a theatrical comedy performed October 3-27, 2019 at San Diego Repertory Theatre, is a prime example of this gendered tension within Borderlands theatre. The play’s engagement of drag as a reinforcement of gender roles stands in contrast to its queering of narcocultura. The problematic use of drag in this play expands on notions of the carnivalesque and the grotesque, but as a dramatic piece Bad Hombres/Good Wives fails to create either a queer space or a space transgressive of borders.