Cape Verde provides a rich opportunity to examine theatre at the crossroads of Europe and Africa. This post-independence theatre movement reveals the complexities of postcolonial creole identities. I argue that theatre performances, practices and aesthetic debates are sites for resisting, reclaiming and recreating national and cultural identity. Through performance, artists and audiences engage in cultural discourse about language, cultural identity, politics, and social issues. In my research, I examine theatre artists and prominent theatre troupes in the post-independence period, looking closely at the significance of the historical moment and context from which the artists emerge – from the fervor of independence to the establishment of the CPLP. As a scholar/artist, I adopt an ethnographic and performance-based methodology combined with interviews and archival research. This study of theatre not only contributes to the broad field of Lusophone Studies but I propose that theatrical performance in Cape Verde may expand and deepen the ways in which other scholars imagine creoleness, postcolonial national identity and the growing field of mixed race studies. Cape Verdean theatre offers a complex interplay between the African and European aspects of its Crioulo culture, asking the audience what it means to be Crioulo – racially, culturally, nationally, and internationally.
Eunice Ferreira, Skidmore Colleg
Dr. Eunice Ferreira is a theater professor at Skidmore College, New York. Her research focuses on performance and issues of language/cultural identity at the intersections of African and Lusophone studies. Recent publications include “Crioulo Shakespeareano and the creolizing of King Lear,” African Theatre 12: Shakespeare in & out of Africa; and co-translation of Alone Onstage (Sozinha no Palco), Moving Worlds. She holds a Ph.D. from Tufts University (Boston, MA) and regularly presents at national and international conferences.