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Héctor Santiago Papers


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Héctor Santiago Papers, 1958-2002 | University of Miami Cuban Heritage Collection

By Marta Martínez

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Collection Overview

Title: Héctor Santiago Papers, 1958-2002Add to your cart.View associated digital content.

ID: CHC5176

Creator: Santiago, Héctor

Extent: 7.0 Boxes. More info below.

Arrangement: The Héctor Santiago Papers are organized into two series described in the "Finding Aid/Inventory" section of this guide. A detailed container list is available in the "Container List (PDF)" field.

Formats/Genres: Clippings, Manuscripts, Theater programs, Typescripts

Languages: Spanish;Castilian

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The Héctor Santiago Papers collection includes only part of his literary anthology, with future additions expected. The Papers include scripts, essays, short stories, reviews, clippings, and theater programs.  Additionally, the collection contains personal and professional correspondence, interviews, awards, and financial records. Some scripts and stories written by Santiago in 1960s were excavated from the ground beneath a tree in Cuba where they had been buried for more than 20 years.  In order to preserve these original typescripts, photocopies have been made for perusal.  Also of interest is a group of letters written by Santiago’s fellow prisoners in UMAP.

Biographical Note

Héctor Santiago Armenteros Ruiz is a versatile artist who was involved in theater in Cuba, before and after the Cuban Revolution, and in the United States. He worked as an actor, playwright, director, choreographer, dancer, and puppeteer.  Santiago was born in Havana, Cuba in 1944. He graduated from the Cuban National Dramatist School after studying literature at the University of Havana. In 1959, he co-founded the Children’s Theatrical Movement in Cuba. The writer Virgilio Piñera was his intimate friend and his literature professor throughout those active years.

In 1965, Santiago was accused of antisocial behavior.  Five years later he was arrested and his literary works seized by the government.  The artist was sentenced to three years service in UMAP (Military Units to Aid Production), which was a type of Cuban forced labor camp where political dissidents were made to work in inhumane conditions.  In 1979, he left Cuba for Spain.  Santiago was eventually able to move to New York, where he resides today.

Santiago has been active in promoting HIV awareness in New York City.  He has shown a strong desire to portray the social and human impacts of the disease, as it was a theme in his plays throughout the 1980s.  He once said, “As a human being, I have tried to bring light to these dark times and unflaggingly struggled so that man does not become man’s wolf.”

Many of his plays have been performed in Cuba and in the United States.  His short stories, essays, and plays have been published and translated into English, French and Catalan. His play Vida y Pasión de la Peregrina (Life and Passion of the Pilgrim) was the winner of the Golden Letters Award from the University of Florida, and the world premiere took place during the Miami International Theatre Festival in 1998.

Subject/Index Terms

Artists -- Cuba
Authors, Cuban - 20th century
Dramatists, Cuban
Santiago, Héctor
Unidades Militares de Ayuda

Administrative Information

Alternate Extent Statement: 4.5 linear feet

Access Restrictions: This collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions: Requests to publish or display materials from this collection require written permission from the rights owner.  Please, contact for more information.

Physical Access Note: Due to the fragile condition of originals, selected manuscript playscripts and stories written by Santiago in 1960s are only available for use as photocopies.

Acquisition Method: Gift of Héctor Santiago, 2006. A second donation of materials was received in 2016.

Preferred Citation: Héctor Santiago Papers, Cuban Heritage Collection, University of Miami Libraries, Coral Gables, Florida

Processing Information: Processed by Marta Martínez, November 2008.

Finding Aid Revision History:

Finding aid edited by Rachel Ewy and María R. Estorino, October 2009.

Finding aid subjects terms assigned by Ana D. Rodríguez, February 2013.

Updated by Juan A.Villanueva and Samuel J. Franco, February 2017.

Other Note:

Sponsor Note:

This collection processed with the support of the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners.

Rights Statement:

The text of this webpage is available for modification and reuse under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License and the GNU Free Documentation License (unversioned, with no invariant sections, front-cover texts, or back-cover texts).

Container List (PDF):

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Works, 1958-2002],
[Series 2: Personal Files, 1961-2001],

Series 1: Works, 1958-2002Add to your cart.
Playscripts, short stories, adaptation of plays, critic comments, programs, conference programs, choreographic works, articles and clippings. The scripts and short stories written by Santiago in Cuba between 1965 and 1966 have been photocopied to preserve the fragile originals.
Extent: Three boxes (Boxes 1-3)
Arrangement: Arranged alphabetically by the title of the work within each sub-series.
Sub-Series 1: Theater WorksAdd to your cart.
Sub-Series 2: Other WorksAdd to your cart.
Series 2: Personal Files, 1961-2001Add to your cart.
Personal and professional correspondence, financial records, contracts, programs, honors and awards, and clippings about Santiago's works.  The UMAP letters in this series have been photocopied for preservation purposes.

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