Jesusa RodrÃguez is a Mexican director, actress, playwright, performance artist, and social activist.
Her "espectÃ¡culos" do not necessarily adhere to traditional genre classification: they can reflect elite styles or popular; draw on Greek tragedy, cabaret, pre-Columbian, operatic traditions; take the form of a revue, sketch, "carpa", or political performance art. She and her wife, Argentine singer/actress Liliana Felipe, operated El HÃ¡bito and Teatro de la Capilla, alternative performances spaces in Mexico City, until 2005. El HÃ¡bito is now under the administration of Las Reinas Chulas, and RodrÃguez is now dedicated to independent projects.
In the 1980s RodrÃguez notably directed an adaption of Mozart's Don Giovanni, featuring an all-female cast, entitled Donna Giovanni, and Oskar Panizza's El Concilio de Amor in 1988. RodrÃguez won an Obie for Best Actor in Las Horas de BelÃ©n, A Book of Hours along with Ruth Maleczech and New York-based Mabou Mines.
The 1993 Rodriguez's Coatlicue transforms a pre-Hispanic statue from the Mexica Room of Mexicoâ€™s National Anthropology Museum into an animated being running for Mexicoâ€™s presi- dency. Through the use of an indigenous female icon confined in a museum, the artist parodies the attitude of official Mexican politicians toward their countryâ€™s problems. RodrÃguezâ€™s Coatlicue calls upon her children not to forget her and complains about not having a special car like the popeâ€™s. RodrÃguez calls the show â€œpre-Hispanic cabaret,â€ thus point- ing to the need to reduce the load of monolithic myths upon which closed- minded nationalism tends to be based.