Rodolfo Usigli Archive

Rodolfo Usigli

Rodolfo Usigli (1905-1979), Mexican playwright, novelist, essayist and diplomat, father of modern Mexican theater.


The Usigli Archive is a repository of the papers of Rodolfo Usigli (1905-1979), Mexican playwright, essayist and diplomat. The Archive is the definitive research collection relating to Usigli’s life and career, including correspondence, both manuscript and typed drafts of original plays and translations of works by other artists, personal, theatrical, and diplomatic photographs, essays, books, playbills, posters, theses written about Usigli, awards, newspaper and magazine articles, memorabilia, and ephemera. The correspondence includes letters to and from George Bernard Shaw, José Clemente Orozco, Octavio Paz and many others. The Archive also includes rare materials such as Usigli’s unpublished poems, plays and short stories and the correspondence between Usigli and Diego Rivera regarding their joint efforts to publicize André Breton’s lectures during the 1938 Surrealist Week in Mexico City. The Archive has not only copies of Breton’s lectures, which Usigli translated for the occasion, but also a rare print of Rivera’s poster “Communicating Vessels (Homage to André Breton)” and a broadsheet with the famous “Manifesto for an Independent Revolutionary Art!” both produced as a result of the visit by Breton.

Spanish, French, English, and German

Rodolfo Usigli Archive: Correspondence (pdf)
Rodolfo Usigli Archive: Papers (pdf)

Rodolfo Usigli: Apostle of Mexican Drama (pdf)

Centro Nacional de Investigación, Documentación e Información Teatral Rodolfo Usigli (CITRU)
Rodolfo Usigli at the Miguel de Cervantes Virtual Library


Usigli had the opportunity to meet with one of his literary idols, George Bernard Shaw, in 1945. He first wrote Shaw to arrange a meeting when he stopped in London on his way to Paris where he was working as an undersecretary in the Mexican embassy. The two were unable to meet, but in 1945 Usigli returned to London. While there, he visited Shaw unannounced. Despite this, the meeting was friendly and Usigli returned a few days later to discuss, amongst other topics, Usigli’s play Corona de sombra and his work on Corona de luz. Following their meeting, the two continued to exchange letters.  The Archive contains these letters as well as other mementos of their meeting including a film (shown here) and photographs of the meeting, telegrams, and Usigli’s drafts of an article documenting their conversations.

Please note that Flash must be enabled to view the film.