Vida y milagros de las carpas: La carpa en México 1930-1950

Life and miracles of carpas: Carpa in Mexico 1930-1950

Socorro Merlín

México, 1995.
234 p.

Saying “carpa” is to speak of a kind of theater space, as well as a specific genre of popular theater in Mexico, reaching its peak between 1930 and 1950. This genre was more like an alternative marginal art, at odds with “the paradigms of art and theater” at that time like opera, zarzuela, or drama. The book includes a study on the economic, social and artistic circumstances which affected how carpa worked; the performance context and the implicit esthetic in this show so-called carpero; as well as the mixed sources and genres represented in such a show: sketches, puppet shows, dances, songs, vistas*, dioramas and circus acts. There is an appendix devoted to interviews with carperos (artists working in carpas, note of tr.). There are indexes of data, performance locations, carpa artists and variety artists, and programs, all of them gathered by the author of the book through her investigative work. There is also a bibliography and a list of journalistic articles as references.