Mexican director, actress, playwright, performance artist, scenographer, entrepreneur, and social activist Jesusa Rodríguez has been called the most important woman of Mexico. Often referred to as a "chameleon," Rodríguez moves seemingly effortlessly and with vigor across the spectrum of cultural forms, styles, and tones. Her "espectáculos" (as both spectacles and shows) challenge traditional classification, crossing with ease generic boundaries: from elite to popular to mass, from Greek tragedy to cabaret, from pre-Columbian indigenous to opera, from revue, sketch and "carpa," to performative acts within political projects. Humor, satire, linguistic play, and the body are constants in her productions. She ran the famous El Hábito Cabaret Bar in Mexico City with her wife, Liliana Felipe, where they staged hundreds of shows over the course of fifteen years. Most recently, she heads up the Resistencia Creativa movement in Mexico, whose key strategy is using "massive cabaret" as a tool for political action.
She seeks to render corporal and, thus, visible, the tensions between the discourses in operation on and through the individual and collective body. Rodríguez's energy is intense and her commitment non-negotiable, always interrogating the nature, site, and consequences of power and its representation.
In 2007 Jesusa was named a Hemispheric Institute Senior Fellow.