Rodolfo Usigli

Playwright, Author

1905 – 1979


Who was Rodolfo Usigli?

Rodolfo Usigli was a Mexican playwright. He was called the "playwright of the Mexican Revolution."

Usigli born to an Italian father and a Polish mother in Mexico City. Usigli spent a year in the National Conservatory of Music before deciding that his real passion was theater. He studied drama at Yale from 1935-1936 on a Rockefeller scholarship, later becoming a professor and diplomat. It was during his time as a diplomat in 1945 that he met George Bernard Shaw in London. After returning to Mexico from the U.S., he established the Midnight Theater and also became a member of the literary circle that formed around the journal Contemporary. During the 1930s, he directed radio dramas.

In 1937, Usigli brought out his book, The Gesticulating Demagogues. The book's manuscript had been read by Shaw. The book attacked the social issues ravaging Mexico, such as misuse of power that the bureaucracy had got from the Revolution of 1910. The play was subsequently banned, raising Usigli's reputation.

His 1938 play El gesticulador was perhaps the only play ever to be censored by the Mexican government for political reasons.

In 1942 Usigli published yet another work of scathing quality.

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Nov 17, 1905
Mexico City
Also known as
  • Rodolfo Usigli Wainer
  • Mexico
  • Yale University
Lived in
  • Mexico City
Jun 18, 1979

on July 23, 2013


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