I Was the Voice of Democracy by Associate Professor of Theater Brian Herrera is an hour-long, solo performance that recalls the true story of a 17-year-old who is briefly thrust into a peculiar kind of fame when a patriotic speech he writes on a whim ends up winning a national contest. Through autobiographical storytelling, this one-person, multimedia event offers a mix of analysis and anecdote, both hilarious and heartbreaking, as Herrera puzzles through the memories, mementos and artifacts that comprise the archive of his own teenage experience.

Free and open to the public, limited seating on first-come, first-seated basis.


I Was the Voice of Democracy received its world premiere presentation as part of SoloFest 2010 at Albuquerque’s The Filling Station (where it was selected as the Festival’s closing night “Encore Presentation”) and was subsequently presented at a variety of regional theaters and universities. The show was also featured as part of the 2012 Revolutions International Theatre Festival, the 2012 NoPassport Theatre Conference, at Cornell University’s 2012 Resoundingly Queer Conference, and as the keynote performance of the LGBTQ Pre-Conference of the 2011 annual meeting of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education. A radio version of the show premiered on KUNM’s Radio Theatre in June 2011 and has since been heard coast to coast on public radio stations in the United States and Canada via Public Radio Exchange.  In 2013, I Was the Voice of Democracy was presented at the American University of Beirut (Lebanon) and at New York University-Abu Dhabi.


brian herrera

Brian Eugenio Herrera is, by turns, a writer, teacher and scholar — presently based in New Jersey, but forever rooted in New Mexico.

Brian’s work, both academic and creative, examines the history of gender, sexuality, and race within and through U.S. popular performance. Brian holds degrees from Brown University, the University of New Mexico and Yale University, where he earned his PhD in American Studies. Brian’s scholarly work has been awarded fellowship recognition from the Ford Foundation, the Smithsonian Institute, and the John Randolph & Dora Haynes Foundation. He is the author of The Latina/o Theatre Commons 2013 National Convening: A Narrative Report and has been published in many scholarly journals including Modern Drama, Theatre Journal, Ecumenica, Comparative Drama and The Gay and Lesbian Review; he also served as Guest Editor for a special section of The Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism. Brian recently completed terms of service on the Executive Committee for the American Society for Theatre Research and on the Steering Committee for the American Theatre Archive Project. He currently serves as Chair of the Executive Committee for Modern Language Association’s Drama Division and as member of the Advisory Committee for the Latino/a Theatre Commons.

Brian’s autobiographical solo show I Was the Voice of Democracy premiered in 2010 in Albuquerque and has subsequently been seen in Taos, Seattle, Los Angeles, Chicago, Lawrence (KS), New York City, Chapel Hill, Ithaca, Tempe, Princeton, Beirut, and Abu Dhabi. In 2013, he launched two new storywork shows, Boy Like That and Touch Tones.

From 2007 to 2012, Brian taught undergraduate and graduate courses in World Theatre History and Performance Theory in the Department of Theatre and Dance at the University of New Mexico (UNM). At UNM, he was recognized four times by The Project for New Mexico Graduates of Color as an Outstanding Faculty Member and, in 2010, the Weekly Alibi annual reader’s poll named Brian Albuquerque’s “Best Post-Secondary School Professor or Instructor.” In 2014, Brian was named a Donald P. Harrington Faculty Fellow at the University of Texas at Austin.

Brian’s first book, Latin Numbers: Playing Latino in Twentieth-Century U.S. Popular Performance(University of Michigan Press, 2015) was recognized with the George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism. He is presently at work on two new book projects: Starring Miss Virginia Calhoun, a narrative portrait of a deservedly obscure early 20th century actress/writer/producer, and Casting — A History, a historical study of the material practices of casting in US popular performance.


Map + Directions

The Godfrey Kerr Studio is located on the second level of the Wallace Dance Building at the Lewis Arts complex, 122 Alexander Street, Princeton.

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