Latin American Theatre
Translations by Prof Charles Philip Thomas

The Useless Heroes (Los Heroes Inútiles )

Country :Mexico

translated by Prof. Charles Philip Thomas

Los Heroes Inútiles (The Useless Heroes) has been adapted for television and served as the basis for an opera by Mexican composer Manuel Enríquez.  The play has been published in three editions and has been presented over 70 times. Originally written in 1979, this is the ``definitive'' version which was published in 1994.  The play takes place during the Mexican Revolution.  Through the lives of three soldiers and the Captain who has captured them, we see a similar theme to that of The Heirs of Segismundo, discussed above: falling into the trap of a mediocre life which shuts off and deprives the individual of the possibility of the realization of freedom.  According to  Christine D. Martinez in a 1990 article on Schidhuber's theatre in Latin American Theatre Review, one of the characters in the play expresses this idea when he says ``A veces pienso que el diablo más se lleva pendejos al infierno por lo que dejan de hacer que por lo que hacen.'' (Sometimes I think the devil carries off more fools to hell for what they fail to do rather than for what they do.)  There is a series of scenes in which a female character, La Vieja, narrates incidents in the lives of the four male characters: an old man who is of Indian heritige, the 58 year old Captain, a 48 year old, and a 15 year old boy.  La Vieja, wearing masks to represent women in the mens' lives, engages in dialogue with each of them which is carried out through ``a continuous play of lights, colors, sounds and shadows.''  Schmidhuber comments that although the play is uniquely Mexican, the universality of the theme allows the ambience of the play to be ``transposed into other Latin American countries during a revolution.''

Country :Mexico

Guillermo Schmidhuber
Works  in Translation by
Prof. Charles Philip Thomas