This essay suggests that the erasure of such nineteenth-century works as Alfredo Chavero's Quetzalcóatl from mainstream Mexican theater histories has diminished the importance of theater as a mode of nation-building historiography even as national textbooks and archaeological developments have come to the fore. It also claims that reimagining theater as a form of performance pedagogy is an important step for scholars in the field to take. Ultimately, this essay reveals not merely that Mexican politics are theatrical, or that the theater has served the Mexican state, but that the architects of the Mexican nation thought theatrically from the start.

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