Essay Comparing Romeo And Juliet And West Side Story

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One of my case studies truly stuck with me personally as an underreported historical happening I felt I needed to share.Marqués, Colón, and Rodríguez were three working Puerto Rican theatre artists in 1950s New York City.In this essay, I seek to compare these two plays and look at the history of Puerto Ricans migrating to New York in order to better understand an example of cultural appropriation in the arts, its effects, its telltale signs, and some lessons for the future.Perhaps, Broadway producers of the 1950s also felt the impact of the opportunity to tell the Puerto Rican migrant story or perhaps the inspiration came from a different place. The Puerto Rican voice of the 1950s was stolen and rewritten for appropriated consumption.Meanwhile, the real issues the community faced as people looking for another shot at life as US citizens coming from a territory were ignored and essentially erased in the eyes of US American mass culture.Months later, as this essay makes its way to Howl Round in this time of visibly heightened white supremacy and based on a topic during a time period that occurred more than half a century ago, its message is still extremely relevant in thinking about how we can counter white supremacy in our arts, on our stages, and in our legacies.In 1950s New York City, the Puerto Rican community experienced an arts and culture appropriation that has continued to shape the way many people view Puerto Rican migrants and descendants in the United States.Puerto Rico’s status as an unincorporated territory of the United States also aided in the encouragement to migrate.It is important to make the distinction between “migrants” and “immigrants” because Puerto Rico was, and still is, an unincorporated territory of the United States.Additionally, this cultural appropriation, or inaccurate and superficial use of a marginalized culture for the artistic benefit of white artists and audiences, reveals the fiscal inequity that occurs for artists who create work that does accurately represent their own culture.This is seen in comparing was produced in 1953, starring the late Míriam Colón and directed by Roberto Rodríguez.


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