Date of Award

Spring 2018

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


LACS: Hispanic Studies

First Advisor

Priscilla Melendez

Second Advisor

Thomas Harrington


The Cuban Revolution that took place in 1959 sparked a mass movement of Cubans to leave the island known as the Cuban Diaspora. To live in another place, a country and within a culture drastically different is a continual internal and external confrontation that many Cubans face living in the United States. Immigration and exile are central themes that emerge from Cuban literature and art. In the field of theater, many Cuban and Cuban-American playwrights such as Matías Montes Huidobro (1931), Alberto Pedro (1954-2005) and María Irene Fornés (1930), have illustrated the effects of immigration and exile on the displaced Cuban. Dolores Prida (1943 – 2013), a notable Cuban columnist and playwright, has created theatrical works in the United States that come from personal experiences. Her play, Coser y cantar (1981), is a long bilingal monologue between two halves of the same person, one representing her Latino side (ELLA) and the other being her inner americanazed self (SHE). Prida herself statedthat the play is “about the experience of being Hispanic in the United States, about people trying to reconcile two cultures and two languages and two visions of the world into a particular whole” ("The Show Does Go on"). The woman in the play is living on the “hyphen,” a term that has become increasingly popular in cultural and sociological fields.

They hyphen is an in-between space in which an exile or immigrant exists between two cultures which challenges their identity. The bicultural experience gives an individual the ability to function in two different worlds but not feel as if they fit completely in either. Using the “hyphenated space” as a framework allows further understanding of the challenges Cuban immigrants and exiles face while living in another culture. The play Coser y cantar will be analyzed extensively in relation to the theoretical framework of the hyphen to illustrate the challenges a Cuban-American routinely faces in light of searching for identiy. Living in another country forces one to assimlate, requiring a certain degree of understanding and tolerance of the local culture. However, cultural roots naturally drive one to also resist elements of local culture to maintain native identiy. The objective is to put into perspective the result of this bicultural experience living on the “hyphen” and what navegating this lifestyle entails through Coser y cantar.


Senior thesis completed at Trinity College for the degree of Bachelor of Arts in Hispanic Studies.