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Golden Age Drama in Contemporary Spain

The Comedia on Page, Stage and Screen

Golden Age Drama in Contemporary Spain examines the work of Spain’s three major playwrights of the baroque era, Calderón de la Barca, Lope de Vega, and Tirso Molina, in the context of contemporary Spain and twenty-first-century stagings of their works, both on stage and in film and television. The first extended study of these dramatists to consider modern-day performances of their work in their full sociohistorical context, this volume attempts to remedy the traditional absence of performance-based approaches in Golden Age studies, while also providing detailed aesthetic analyses of individual adaptations. Written in a clear, concise style and featuring helpful plot summaries, this is a genuinely interdisciplinary work that will appeal to practitioners as well as students and scholars working in Hispanic and theater studies.

256 pages | 13 halftones | 6 x 9 | © 2012

Iberian and Latin American Studies

History: European History

Literature and Literary Criticism: Dramatic Works

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“[A]n honest, panoramic critical view of Golden Age theater performance in Spain between 1939 and 2009. . . . Anyone wanting to know why there are so very few comedias in film and the theater today will find here a detailed explanation based on 117 plays. The bibliography is excellent. Highly recommended.”

O. B. Gonzilez, Loyola University of Chicago | Choice

“This accomplished book offers a highly original and richly illuminating account of the reception of the three major dramatists of the Spanish Golden Age (Lope de Vega, Tirso de Molina, and Calderón de la Barca) in post-Civil War Spain. Duncan Wheeler proves himself a sophisticated cultural historian as well as theatre and film critic, as he rigorously grounds his analysis of modern stage and screen adaptations of Spain’s classical drama in their institutional, ideological, and material contexts. This is a major contribution not only to comedia studies but also to our understanding of contemporary Spanish culture in all is complexity.”

Laura Bass, Tulane University

“An important book that reflects the decisive moment Golden Age drama is currently passing through on the contemporary stage.”

Eduard Vasco, National Classical Theatre Company

Golden Age Drama in Contemporary Spain offers a thorough engagement with the findings, observations, and opinions of comedia textual scholars, Golden Age historians, literary critics, theatre critics, practitioners, and programmers. It also demonstrates an awareness of broader tendencies and trends in Spanish theatre: the emerging role of the director; censorship; the sites of performance; the relationship between state, performance, and ideology. Perceptive performance analysis is offered, but this is always contextualized within broader opinions and a critical framework that draws on a range of topical texts. An indispensable study for any academic, critic, or practitioner interested in the staging of Golden Age works in the modern era.”

Maria M. Delgado, Queen Mary, University of London

Table of Contents

Series Editors’ Foreword
List of Illustrations
Translations of Play Titles
List of Abbreviations

Chapter 1: The performance history of Golden Age drama in Spain (1939–2009)
Chapter 2: An (early) modern classic: Fuente Ovejuna in contemporary Spain
Chapter 3: Resurrecting lost traditions? Calderón’s wife-murder plays and the CNTC
Chapter 4: Cinema and Golden Age drama: the comedia goes to the movies
Chapter 5: Locating Spanish classical drama in (inter)national contexts: Almagro, the CNTC and the RSC

Works Cited

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