Spotlight: Adelina Anthony

Comedy that Provokes and Transforms

By Roya Rastegar May 06, 2009

“I am not interested in doing comedy that makes fun of the oppressed. I’m female, queer, working-class and Xicana indígena,” says Adelina Anthony. “Within the mainstream, I would be one of these oppressed peoples.”

With sheer ferocity—whether dramatic, comedic or both—Anthony presents a tour de force performance rarely seen on stage. “I’m asking people to sit within the specifics of my world for an hour and a half. If they can do that, releasing their prejudices or fears for that time, they might have opened up space in their hearts and in their thinking for the communities I belong to,” she says. Anthony uses what she calls “critical comedy” to intensify emotional triggers that yield unexpected drama and uncontrollable laughter, creating a space of inter-cultural dialogue across different audiences.

Hailing from Austin, Texas, and now living in Los Angeles, Anthony is best known for her widely acclaimed one-woman show, Mastering Sex and Tortillas. She recently world-premiered Bruising for Besos in L.A. to rave reviews, including the L.A. Times.

She has performed internationally and collaborated as a director and producer on more than 20 productions. Her longstanding working relationship with mentor Cherríe Moraga has included her award-winning acting in and directing of The Hungry Woman: A Mexican Medea.

Anthony has also taught political theatre for more than 15 years, creating a program called Teatro Q for queer youth of color and undocumented immigrant youth.

For her next performance, go to