History of Western Theatre: 17th Century to Now/Latin American Pre-WWII
Mexican theatre starts the 20th century with a strong rural drama in "La venganza de la gleba" (The vengeance of the rabble, 1905) by Federico Gamboa (1864-1939). Also of note is the drama, "En familia" (In the family, 1905) by Florencio Sánchez (1875-1910), born in Uruguay, whose plays were first presented in Argentina.
"The vengeance of the rabble"
"The vengeance of the rabble". Time: 1900s. Place: Mexico.
"In the family"
"In the family". Time: 1900s. Place: Buenos Aires, Argentina.
The Ocuna family prepare to receive for dinner Damian, the eldest son, living with his wife, Delfina. But his mother, Mercedes, worries that they do not have the money to pay for it. Eduardo, her younger son, is no help, specifying he does not like work and is determined to live unashamed as their parasite. Mercedes hopes her husband, Jorge, will arrive with money: vain hope! "I don't have a radish," he admits, having gambled it all away. Mercedes is forced to ask Damian to pay for his own dinner and exposes the true state of their finances. Damina admonishes his father for being so improvident: "One takes a pick to work the earth," he says, but Jorge is unable to, preferring to gamble. In view of this desperate situation, Damian proposes to take charge of the entire family. He asks everyone to contribute except his father, but is not encouraged by what he sees. After asking his sister, Laura, to type a brochure for him, she admits she has not done it yet. He scolds her, to which she replies: "Here's the couch-grass in the salad!" and wanders negligently off. Delfina has lost her ring. Eduardo reveals his younger brother, Tomas, pawned it, retrieved by the mother. Jorge returns after spending the night out. When Mercedes asks him where he was, he answers he does not know, but he needs money. Without her knowing it, Damian asks him to take out money for a friend. Meanwhile, Laura has ordered an expensive dress for herself. Damian says he cannnot pay for it, then changes his mind. On learning of the money transaction, Mercedes already weeps in fear that her husband has stolen it to gamble. All too true. Unable to pay, Damian says to his father he will call the police at which Jorge leaves without a word. "O, Delfina, I want to cry, to yell with pain," says Damian. "Yes, cry, my poor Don Quixote!" his wife replies.