Carmelita Tropicana, the Cuban-born writer/performance artist and actress received an Obie award in 1999 for "Sustained Excellence in Performance" and was named "One of the Most Notable Women of 1998" by the Spanish-language daily, El Diario. She and director Ela Troyano won the best short at the Berlin Film Festival in 1994 for their collaboration on Carmelita Tropicana: Your Kunst is Your Waffen. Most recently, her collaboration with Marga Gomez, Single Wet Female, earned a 2002 nomination for the GLAAD Award in Outstanding Theater. Her latest solo With What Ass Does the Cockroach Sit hit the Off Broadway Intar Theater in 2004. In 2000, Beacon Press published the first comprehensive collection of plays and scripts I, Carmelita Tropicana -- Performing Between Cultures, a Lambda Award nominee in theatre. As a veteran performer her work has been presented at venues including the ICA in London, Centre de Cultura Contemporanea in Barcelona, Thalia Theater in Hamburg. In the U.S. she has been seen at Joe's Pub in New York City, the Walker Arts Center in Minneapolis, the Brava Theater in San Francisco. She translated as well as starred (in Spanish) in the critically acclaimed Off Broadway solo Late Nite Catechism. Ms. Tropicana has received numerous writing and performance awards from groups including the New York Foundation for the Arts, and the Mark Taper Forum's Latino Initiative. She is represented by Judy Boals.
Feminist Artist Statement
I confess, in the beginning I shunned the word feminism. For years I was in the dark, blinded by a chiarascuro, lost. Until 1982 when I stepped into the WOW Café (Women's One World) the door flung open and there was light. I stepped into the spotlight and became a thespian feminist. Finally I could see feminism was full of choices: you could be a fashionista or not, shave or be naturally hirsute. It was abundant, colorful and for women of color, fun, funny, sexually transgressive. I suffered an ecstasy greater than that of St. Teresa in the statue by Bernini. I had found my tribe — the feminists; I'd found my calling: Kunst is my waffen — art is my weapon. As an enlightened being I began to make mama and dada art dedicating myself to Kunst.