As an artist, Troyana straddles the world of performance art and theater, using humor and fantasy as subversive tools to rewrite history from the point of view of woman, man, child, and assorted animals and insects. A bicultural artist, she uses spoken language to examine concepts through foreign words. Her work has been presented nationally and internationally in both Spanish and English, and in 1999 she won an Obie award for Sustained Excellence of Performance.
She created the persona of Carmelita Tropicana, and developed a body of work that incorporates her life as an artist, building a kind of “meta biography” for the character. Her plays and performance art pieces follow Carmelita’s exploits in serial form, addressing world events to encourage a dialogue around issues of ethnic, racial, class, and gender politics.
In addition to presenting “History Herstory,” Tropicana’s VPL residency includes teaching, research, and a development workshop with Marlboro students in a theater class titled Borders, Boundaries, and Crossings. The class explores the ways in which we construct and perform narratives of identities.