Eduardo Machado Biography


(Critical Edition of Dramatic Literature)

Eduardo Machado was born in Havana, Cuba, on June 11, 1953, the son of Othon Eduardo and Gilda (Hernandez) Machado. He was reared in the coastal town of Cojimar, in a large villa full of various relatives. His family members were of the class of landed businesspeople, and his father lived a life of leisure while residing in Cuba. Later, after immigrating to the United States, his father became an accountant. His grandfather owned a bus company. Machado attended a Catholic boys school in Guanabacoa, six miles from home, until the age of eight, when his family, fearing the radical social changes that Castro was implementing, sent him and his four-year-old brother to live with an aunt and uncle in Miami, Florida. Despite the boys’ inability to speak English, they were immediately enrolled in an English-speaking public school. One year later, their parents followed them to Florida, and they soon resettled in Canoga Park, California, located in the San Fernando Valley, close to Los Angeles. He attended Van Nuys High School, then college for about four months, before going on to acting school.

Machado came to playwriting indirectly, first indulging an interest in acting, although at the age of twenty he managed a stage production of García Lorca’s La casa de Bernarda Alba (pr., pb. 1945; The House of Bernarda Alba, 1947) at C. Bernard Jackson’s Inner City Cultural Center in Los Angeles. His interest in acting led him to roles in plays by Fernando Arrabal, Bertolt Brecht, Franz Xaver Kroetz, and John Steppling at the Beverly Hills Playhouse, the Ensemble Studio Theatre, and the Padua Hills Playwrights Festival. It was at the latter that he first met Fornes, who was giving workshops in playwriting. He first became her assistant for her production of her own play Fefu and Her Friends (pr. 1977). Intuiting Machado’s interest in playwriting, Fornes invited him to participate in a workshop. Fornes, also an expatriate Cuban, became the single most influential force on Machado’s writing...

(The entire section is 827 words.)


(Great Authors of World Literature, Critical Edition)

Eduardo Machado (mah-CHAH-doh) arrived from Cuba in 1961, at age eight, with his brother Jesús, five years younger, as a “Peter Pan” child. The Peter Pan project, a collaboration between a United States-based Roman Catholic bishop and the United States Central Intelligence Agency, brought fourteen thousand Cuban children to the United States without their parents, ostensibly to “save” them from communism and from the governmental policies under Fidel Castro. Arriving with no knowledge of English and undergoing major culture shock, the brothers were sent to an aunt and uncle in Hialeah, Florida, who had their own children as well as other immigrant relatives living with them. Machado’s first memory of the United States is celebrating Halloween by trick-or-treating, believing that they had been sent out truly begging, as the children had moved from an economically privileged childhood in Cuba to poverty in the United States. His parents came a year later.

The house in which Machado had lived in Cuba was taken by the government and transformed into a school. His father, a self-professed “professional rich man’s son,” initially could not find work in United States. Machado finished growing up in Canoga Park, a suburb of Los Angeles. By the time Machado was sixteen, his father had succeeded economically as an accountant. Machado’s parents later divorced, reportedly due to his father’s infidelity, which has been an item in his dramatic...

(The entire section is 580 words.)