Eduardo Machado Analysis

Other Literary Forms

(Critical Edition of Dramatic Literature)

Eduardo Machado is known primarily as a playwright but also works professionally in the theater as an actor and director, as a television writer and screenwriter, and as a filmmaker/director.


(Critical Edition of Dramatic Literature)

Eduardo Machado is in the vanguard of a generation of playwrights who, having immigrated with their families from various countries of Latin America, give voice to the experience of Latino displacement in North America. His best-known works are family dramas that chronicle the experiences of well-to-do Cubans as they awake to their betrayal by Fidel Castro’s revolution, prepare for an exodus from the homeland, arrive in and adjust to the “new world,” and reach their ultimate destinies. Machado dramatizes outward from the microcosmic domestic world to encompass the historical sweep of great social movements. His plays capture onstage the critical point at which momentous political events intersect with and influence intimate family crises. In so doing, he breaks iconoclastically with traditional dramatic form, attempting to lift naturalistic situations to a level of heightened theatrical poetry that may be called symphonic tragicomedy, synthesizing innovations of such precursors as Anton Chekhov, Federico García Lorca, and Maria Irene Fornes. Machado has received three National Endowment for the Arts fellowships for playwriting (1981, 1983, 1986), a Rockefeller Foundation fellowship (1985), and a Dorothy Chandler Pavilion Viva Los Artistas Award (1992). In 1993, Machado was awarded a Theatre Communications Group/Pew Charitable Trust grant for an artistic residency at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles, and in 1995 he received one of the first new play initiative awards from the Nederlander organization and the Roundabout Theatre Company in New York City. In 2001, Machado received a playwriting award from the Berrilla Kerr Foundation. He was appointed in 1997 to the theater arts faculty at New York’s Columbia University to chair the graduate playwriting program in the School of the Arts. In addition to teaching and writing, he also serves as an associate artistic director of the Cherry Lane Theatre in New York City.


(Critical Edition of Dramatic Literature)

Armengol Acierno, María. The Children of Peter Pan. Needham, Mass.: Silver Burdett Ginn, 1996.

Bigsby, C. W. E. Modern American Drama, 1945-2000. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2000. Bigsby writes succinctly of contemporary American drama and the diversity of Spanish-speaking communities and writers in the United States. Machado appears among the Cuban American writers.

Brand, Ulrika. “A Master Playwright Teaches His Discipline: An Interview with Eduardo Machado,” Columbia News (June 28, 2001). On the occasion of the premiere of When the Sea Drowns in Sand, the public affairs office at Columbia University featured an interview with Eduardo Machado as director of the graduate playwriting program in the School of the Arts. He talks about his unique approach to teaching playwriting and the success of his students.

Brantley, Ben. “Eduardo Machado,” New York Times Magazine (October 23, 1994): 38-41. Theater critic for The New York Times Ben Brantley discusses the four-play cycle of The Floating Island Plays as Machado’s metaphor for political strife in Cuba. As such, the plays address the experiences of the Hispanic immigrant in the United States; several generations of Machado’s family become a mirror for a society in emotional, cultural, and economic flux....

(The entire section is 460 words.)