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Puro ArteFilipinos on the Stages of Empire$
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Lucy Mae San Pablo Burns

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780814744437

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814744437.001.0001

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“Which Way to the Philippines?”

“Which Way to the Philippines?”

United Stages of Empire

(p.21) 1 “Which Way to the Philippines?”
Puro Arte

Lucy Mae San Pablo Burns

NYU Press

This chapter examines dramatizations of U.S.–Philippine contact during the years leading up to, during, and immediately after the Spanish–American War. In the early years of the American empire, the Filipino/a performing body appears in piecemeal form on diverse U.S. stages, including the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair, as part of chautauqua circuits, and on theater venues in major American cities such as New York and Chicago. The chapter specifically turns to two of these sites, the Philippine Reservation at the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair and the musical comedy Shoo-Fly Regiment by the African American creative team of Bob Cole, J. Rosamond, and James Weldon Johnson. It approaches these various performing stages as “contact zones,” as complex terrains of interaction among American patrons, Filipino/a performers, and the Philippines. Furthermore, the chapter also asks how this early contact is present in contemporary Filipino Americans' self-imagination.

Keywords:   dramatizations, U.S.–Philippine contact, Spanish–American War, American empire, 1904 St. Louis World's Fair, chautauqua circuits, Philippine Reservation, Filipino American, Shoo-Fly Regiment

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