Jose Rivera

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Jose Rivera, a well-established playwright, through his plays, displays a more vibrant and modern “free” style of writing. While his writing is more animated than the everyday playwright, a number of common characteristics and themes are emulated from the many play’s he’s written. Rivera’s works persistently exemplify the use of surrealism in conjunction with magic realism to display a world where almost anything can happen. This intertwining facet blends together all that is natural with magical elements to mold their way into the deeper psyche, which ultimately allows more full understanding of reality. For years in the theater, Marisol (1992), has been regarded as Rivera’s strongest play to date. The world of Marisol provides a look into…show more content…
One of his more recent plays, Massacre (Sing to your Children) (2007), set in Granville, New Hampshire, explores the workings of an oppressive government and the how members of society need to take action. Very similar to the presentation of unreal elements as observed in Marisol and Cloud Tectonics, Massacre (Sing to your Children) presents a combination of violence and revolution to bring rise to the perpetuation of the oppression that exists. The play begins with seven friends, Panama, Vivy, Erik, Janis, Lila, Eliseo, and Hector, each wearing an animal mask, carrying a weapon and drenched in blood, leaving the house of the town’s apparently evil oppressor, Joe. In a state of paralyzing shock, the seven friends try to make sense of violent murder that they just committed. Joe, supposedly a tyrant, has been the cause of all chaos, of which includes disappearances, failure of crop growth, and killings. As they fret over their murder, they forget to go and check to make sure that Joe is dead and to burn his remains. After some times passes and they finally relax, there’s a knock at the door and it’s Joe. The same sort of eerie magnetism observed in Marisol is created with the arrival of Joe. The reader and audience are left to determine what happened to Joe; questions float around as confusion and mystery develop. That is, whether he is still alive, a ghost that has come back to haunt the group, or a figment of their imagination as a result of hallucinations from the murder, is not explicitly stated. The rest of the play focuses on Joe’s attempt to tear apart the group of friends. Psychologically, Joe manipulates each member of the group by bringing to light each one’s secrets and makes them believe the hatred they have against him is the result of their own deeds, and not his. Through these interrogations, Rivera is able to highlight the

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