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).
"The vengeance of the rabble"
Time: 1900s. Place: Mexico.
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Also of note is the drama "En familia" (In the family, 1905) by Florencio Sánchez (1875-1910), born in Uruguay but whose plays were first presented in Argentina.
"In the family"
Time: 1900s. Place: Buenos Aires, Argentina.
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The Ocuna family prepare to receive for dinner Damian, the eldest son, along with his wife, Delfina. 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 unashamedly as their parasite. She hopes her husband, Jorge, will arrive with money: vain hope! "I don't have a radish," he admits, having gambled it all away. She is forced to ask Damian to pay for his own dinner and, on the same occasion, exposes the true state of their finances. Damian admonishes his father for being so improvident. "One takes a pick to work the earth," he urges, but he is unable to, preferring to gamble. In 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. One day, Delfina loses her ring. Eduardo reveals that his younger brother, Tomas, pawned it, but it is retrieved by the mother. After spending the night out, Jorge returns back home. When Mercedes asks him where he was, he answers he does not know, but needs money. Without her knowing it, Damian asks his father to take out money from his bank account for a friend. Meanwhile, Laura orders an expensive dress for herself. When Damian learns of this, he says he cannot pay for it, but then changes his mind. On learning of the money transaction, Mercedes already weeps in fear that her husband has stolen it for gambling. 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 consolingly.