Masters Thesis

Pachuca power: centering the Chicana as an actor on the stage, in the streets, and on the page

The Pachuca was an influential figure who emerged in the 1940’s as a female Mexican-American subject whose public visibility challenged the hegemonic patriarchal stereotypes, both in the home and on the streets, yet the authentic voices of Pachucas are systematically excluded from the dominant historical and cultural narrative. As an unfixed subject who represents a continual process of identity creation, she is an important public and private actor whose influence persisted as a social, cultural, and artistic source of strength and inspiration for Chicanas during the Chicano Movement and beyond. While plays like Zoot Suit perpetuate the silence and invisibility of the Pachuca, contemporary Chicana playwrights also continue to draw from her as a rich icon who can inform modern day Chicano theater and challenge such one-sided and limiting female representations.