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Scenes from "Tooth or Shave" by Josephine Niggli

Scenes from


Caption: "'Tooth or Shave.' A Mexican folk comedy by Josephine Niggli. The characters: Anselmo, a barber (Robert Nachtmann); Maria, his wife (The Author); Tomas, a carpenter (Irving Suss); Juanita, wife of Tomas (Ellen Deppe). Scene: The street of Juarez and Maximiliano in the town of El Carmen, not very far from Monterrey, Mexico. Time: The present. An early morning in spring. A Mexican folk play: Josephine Niggli, the author of 'Tooth or Shave,' is a native on Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico. Her home is an old Mexican estate with a casa grande (great house), La Quinta del Carmen, 'The House of Flowers' of many acres, 400-orange and pecan trees, and many servants. The author tells us the story of her comedy: 'Anselmo, whose real name is Porfirio, is a barber living in a little town near my own town of Hidalgo. He is the brother of our watchman, and when I was small he used to ride me around on his broad shoulders whenever he came to the house to visit old Nacho. I remember how startled he was when I, with all the dignity of eleven, informed him that the earth moved around the sun. Of all the Mexicans I have ever known, Porfirio, with the mind and heart of a child, is still my favorite. The story of the blackmailing scheme grew out of an argument I once heard between Porfirio and Nacho when they were trying to show each other and me how brave they really were. Although now I realize that it was just so much talk, at the time I actually thought that any moment Porfirio was going to kneel down and have his head struck off. Maria, Juanita, and Tomas are common types, to be found in any Mexican village. The story of Maria's ten pesos, which se was saving for her funeral, is not as absurd as it may seem, as many of the poorer class women in Mexico do just that.'" RF photo #21191q.


Carolina Playmakers


Rockefeller Archive Center, Rockefeller Foundation records, photographs, series 236.R, box 54, folder 1284




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Spatial Coverage

Chapel Hill (N.C.) North Carolina


Carolina Playmakers, “Scenes from "Tooth or Shave" by Josephine Niggli,” 100 Years: The Rockefeller Foundation, accessed January 17, 2022, https://rockfound.rockarch.org/digital-library-listing/-/asset_publisher/yYxpQfeI4W8N/content/scenes-from-tooth-or-shave-by-josephine-niggli