A HISTORY OF THE BODY is a multidisciplinary theater project.  We’re on hiatus until future iterations, but check out prior events and the promo video below!

March 11, 2015, UC Berkeley: A History of the Body was presented for a staged reading by the students in the Theater, Dance and Performance Studies program at UC Berkeley – the first in a year, and the latest version of the script.  Durham Studio Theater.  Don’t know about the play?  Watch this promo video.

A History of the Body was Aimee’s work under her award from the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, YBCAway. Check out this article/interview just out: https://www.facebook.com/notes/folks-at-bindlestiff/interview-with-a-history-of-the-body-playwright-aimee-suzara/10152020678634615


“On A History of the Body” – a beautiful trailer edited by Loren Robertson about the latest iteration of the project and featuring clips from the May 11, 2013 show in Oakland, CA! Screen Shot 2014-01-11 at 7.02.44 PM


AS_HOTB2013f_frontA History of the Body is a multidisciplinary piece about colonization and the body, fusing dance, theater, poetry and visual art. The work examines the powerful effects of culture, history and media  on our attitudes towards skin color, facial features and female beauty.

We’ve engaged in research about Filipino history and interviews with women about body image; we have completed several successful workshops with women about skin and beauty.  It’s been an exciting process, and we are looking forward to sharing our vision with you. Scroll down for a fuller description of the project.

What Audiences have said:

“This show is a sweet “call” to us – immigrants and indigenous and African Americans, to understand how oppression, marketing, racism and dominance work and affect us.  What have I done under this disturbed reality – did I change myself to fit in?  – Isaura Oliveira, dance instructor, choreographer

“HOTB provokes many compelling questions and thoughts about Pinays, beauty, skin, body and perception in the context of American immigrant experience and the history of colonialism and imperialism.”  – Christine Cordero

“Such a powerful show that not only demonstrates the history of the body but the epistemology of the Pinay.” / “Amazing.  Brings the body, empire, empire, internalized oppression, colonial mentality, capitalism, white supremacy, etc.  I felt like the show embodied parts of my childhood and instances in my life that I struggle with today.” – Jocyl Sacramento

“Hits home on how ethnicity is perceived in our society.” – Oscar Ramos

“Beautiful take on a recurring and important theme.  Integration of the political and the personal.” – Lillian Galedo

“A History of the Body is an important work when looking at the effects of colonization. The effects of dominant, mainstream culture have such an immense influence on women, especially young women grappling with their identity. While typified beauty is a construction, History of the Body helps dismantle these constructions and forces the viewer to ask difficult questions. Crucial and imperative work that should be seen and experienced by all.” – Dorothy Santos

“This show is important because it brings to light many issues being ignored by more mainstream artistic expression.” – James Simmons

“Impactful and well-written and acted!” – Chrissy Anderson-Zavala


A History of the Body is a multidisciplinary piece fusing dance, theater, poetry and visual art to explore the impacts of colonization and the media on the body. In its story of two women—former friends with divergent ambitions and body politics – the work examines the modern-day attitudes towards lighter skin tone for Filipina women and women of color, the global rise in cosmetic whitening product use, as well as the historical events and stereotypes perpetuated at the turn of the century: specifically the portrayal of Filipinos as “dark” savages during the display of Filipinos at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair.

A History of the Body first emerged from Suzara’s original dance-text collaboration with Frances Sedayao at CounterPULSE’s Emerging Performance Festival in 2009. In 2009, the work was featured in two artist panels, “Immigration Politics and the Body” (co-curated by Suzara with Shaping SF at CounterPULSE), and Kularts’ “Indigenizing the Filipino Aesthetic.” A work-in-progress segment of its theatrical adaptation emerged in 2010 during Suzara’s artist-in-residency with Kularts, the premiere presenter of Filipino indigenous, tribal and contemporary art. In its most recent iterations, workshop productions of selected scenes, featuring choreography, visual design and music were directed by Pamela Wu Kochiyama in April-May 2013 at the World Theater in Monterey, CA and commissioned by the East Bay Community Foundation at the Oakland Asian Cultural Center as part of the United States of Asian America Festival. Engaging with audiences along the way, Suzara and her collaborative team have offered workshops, talks and presentations. Video clips and a promotional trailer are available by request and at http://www.aimeesuzara.net