Out of the Wings

Posts Tagged ‘Golden Age’

American Society for Theatre Research Call for Participants

15 May 2012




New Approaches to Plays from the Spanish Golden Age through Hidden Histories of Women & Native Americans


The American Society for Theatre Research (ASTR) is forming a working session to:

  • Uncover new riches from theater history’s best-kept secret – the Spanish Comedia nueva.
  • Overhear vibrantly expressed underdog perspectives, as Native Americans and women take center stage.
  • Unearth golden opportunities for critical study, performance experimentation, and dynamic teaching.

ways in

In pursuit of its mission, this working session forms multidisciplinary teams to dig into two revolutionary plays currently poised for explosion in America:

  1. 1.     Ana Caro’s Valor, agravio y mujer (c. 1640). 

Known Fact:  playwright Ana Caro (c. 1600–1652) illuminates undercover history of female playwrights during the Siglo de Oro.

Known Fact:  protagonist Leonor (a/k/a Leonardo) mounts feminist counter-attack on Don Juan.

Facts To Be Determined:  How do Caro and her heroine open new horizons for Comedia research, shedding light on theater-making during the Spanish Golden Age and raising implications for staging and teaching today?  How does translation by Amy Williamsen (Courage, Betrayal, and a Woman Scorned) and editing by Ian Borden equip this play for resurgence in America?

  1. 2.     Lope de Vega’s El nuevo mundo descubierto por Cristobal Colón (c. 1600).

Known Fact:  first play in history to put Native Americans on stage.

Known Fact:  explores the causes and consequences of first contact between Europe and America.

Facts To Be Determined:  How do Nuevo mundo’s Amerindian characters interrogate theater’s capacity to challenge expectations about aliens, explode stereotypes, and promote human rights?  How can translation for Florida’s quincentennial (1513-2013) make this play a springboard for everyday citizens to engage in cultural rediscovery?

infiltration plan

Assembling multidisciplinary teams that link modern language experts with theater scholars, incorporate enthusiastic newcomers, and build on a history of collaborations previously sponsored by ASTR’s Comedia research group, this venture penetrates cultural barriers as participants:

  • Post initial responses to target plays on session’s wiki (June).


  • Contribute to online library of resources for researching target plays (July).


  • Formulate collaborative list of team research questions (August).


  • Produce an individual paper that explores a target play through a specific research question (September).


  • Respond to other team members’ papers and develop presentations for ASTR’s conference (October).


  • Participate in presentations that report team findings, stimulate discussion, and actively involve all ASTR members attending the session’s meeting in Nashville (November).



Experienced agents already stationed in the field to help teams dig effectively include:

Team Leaders Karen Berman (Georgia College & State University), Nena Couch (Ohio State University), Janine Kehlenbach (11 Minutes Theatre Company, Denver), and Darci Strother (California State University San Marcos).

Senior Scholars Ian Borden (University of Nebraska Lincoln), Ben Gunter (Theater with a Mission, Tallahassee), Grover Wilkins 3rd (Orchestra of New Spain, Dallas), and Amy Williamsen (University of North Carolina Greenboro).

Respondent Susan Paun de García (Denison University).

special operative appeals

  • Because operations to incorporate comedias into teaching, production, and research in America can fail when agents encounter difficulty in decoding texts, teams will focus on equipping target plays with features that make them user-friendly – e.g., guides to critical hotspots, maps for classroom activities, and pointers for putting the scenes into production.  These resources will remain available longterm via wikispace postings.


  • Because this session targets comedias newly translated for performance in the US, team presentations will include rehearsed readings of critical scenes, putting research findings into practice and enhancing the session with performance elements.  Readings may be re-presented afterhours to ASTR at large.


agent selection procedure

1) Craft 250-word statement spelling out your personal interest in going undercover with one of these comedias.  Zero in on any aspect of the project that appeals to you.  No prior experience required; diversity desired.

2) Add 150-word biographical sketch.  Go public about your modern language skills, experience with theater production and/or pedagogy, allied research interests, and/or raw enthusiasm.

3) Send statement & sketch to ASTRundercover2012@yahoo.com by 31 May 2012.

4) Await response.

recruitment disclosures

PLEASE NOTE:  This is not a call to write a paper and read it at a conference, but a quest to burrow into research targets through months-long scholarly exchanges, to share findings with fellow agents (in writing) before ASTR meets, and to engage in intelligence-altering discussion of discoveries at the conference.

More details on how ASTR working sessions operate is available at www.astr.org. (where you can also find dossiers on other working sessions you’ll be privileged to eavesdrop on by joining us undercover).


Emerging insider info @ spanish-golden-age-plays.wikispaces.com.

New book on Golden Age Drama in Contemporary Spain

9 December 2010

Coming soon from the University of Wales Press:

Golden Age Drama in Contemporary Spain: The Comedia on Page, Stage and Screen

Duncan Wheeler

This is the first book dedicated to the performance and reception of sixteenth and seventeenth century national drama in contemporary Spain. It contextualises the socio-historical background to productions of works by the country’s three major Spanish baroque playwrights (Calderón de la Barca, Lope de Vega and Tirso de Molina), whilst also providing detailed, accessible and jargon-free aesthetic analyses of individual stage and screen adaptations. Plot summaries of each of the plays discussed are included, and the extensive bibliography will provide an essential resource for academics, practitioners and students alike.

See the poster for full information:  Golden Age Drama in Contemporary Spain

2010 Out of the Wings Symposium REGISTRATION NOW OPEN

12 January 2010

AHRC-funded project ‘Out of the Wings’ presents its

2010 Symposium

‘Spanish Golden Age Drama in Translation and Performance’

at Merton College, Oxford

18-19 March 2010


Registration and Accommodation, Catering OTW ’10

Translating and performing the works of Miguel de Cervantes, Lope de Vega, Tirso de Molina and Calderón de la Barca, and other playwrights of the Golden Age have sparked an increasing amount of interest, heightened by the Royal Shakespeare Company’s 2004-5 Golden Age season. Our Symposium will be attended by both academic and theatrical practitioners working within the field of Golden Age drama, and a wider base of attendees interested in Spanish theatre in general, as well as University colleagues and students. Speakers will be drawn from the United States and Europe, representing a variety of areas of expertise in translation and performance of the comedia. Please explore our website (www.outofthewings.org) for more information on the project, and see the rest of the blog for past events.

Lope de Vega’s ‘Madness in Valencia’ at Trafalgar Studios

2 December 2009

Black and White Rainbow theatre company present our own David Johnston’s translation of this ‘mad’ play at the Trafalgar Studios in the New Year.

For more information see the London Theatre Guide article here.

Out of the Wings in NYC

14 August 2009

Last week three members of the Out of the Wings team, namely David Johnston, Jonathan Thacker and Kathleen Jeffs traveled to New York for the Association for Theatre in Higher Education’s 2009 conference. Our seminar was a great success; 23 participants of our wiki-conversation which has been ongoing for the past year were in attendance. There never seems to be enough time to have the conversations, which seem to be over as soon as they begin, but the encounter continued with a post-seminar discussion and we hope it will continue into the future. Our preparatory conversation is available for viewing online. For the main site see the Main Wiki, and see here for our specific 2009 New York Seminar.

Specific thanks go to the Association for Hispanic Classical Theatre, particularly Ben Gunter and Susan Paun de Garcia, without whom the seminar would not have been possible.

For more information about the Association for Theatre in Higher Education see the ATHE Website or this year’s conference site, Risking Innovation.

To Rhyme or Not to Rhyme

14 July 2009

Translating Golden Age drama brings up many questions of interpretation, form and meaning; but whether to translate the comedia in rhyming verse or not is still a heated debate. One translator, Gregary Racz, believes strongly that the comedia should be translated in verse, a view which has also been taken by Philip Osment in his rhyming, metrical Pedro the Great Pretender for the RSC’s Spanish Golden Age season, and by Victor Dixon in both his translations and his scholarship. Some translators, such as David Johnston, invent their own forms, keeping a regular metre but rhyming only in selected passages, such as sonnets. I invite your comments and views, readers; here is an article by Racz to get the conversation started (see p. 4-6 of this issue of ‘The Gotham Translator’).

The Case Against Preserving Meter and Rhyme in Poetic Translation: Theory or Practice?

American Society for Theatre Research Working Session on Golden Age Drama

22 April 2009

American Society for Theatre Research
November 11-15, 2009
San Juan, Puerto Rico

There is a Golden Age Working Group, New Approaches to Plays from the Spanish Golden Age: Destiny, Nation Formation, & Puerto Rican Perspectives

The Working Group will divide into three teams: one working on Lo fingido verdadero, another on Fuente Ovejuna, and finally on Los melindres de Belisa. See the ASTR 2009 Call for Participants.  

Questions regarding this Session may be directed to the conveners at astr_gold_2009@yahoo.com

For general information please see the Conference Website.

Upcoming plays from the Golden Age

24 November 2008

This is a quick preview of the plays I’m currently working on for the Golden Age area of the site. Stay tuned for translations and contextual material.

La fuerza de la costumbre by Guillén de Castro

We have chosen this play, ‘Force of Habit’, because it is relatively unknown, as is its author, in the canon of comedias which are produced with some regularity. Brother and sister, separated at birth, grow up apart-Felix is brought up by his mother to speak softly, fear thunder and stitch, while Hipólita grows up with her father in a war zone, learning to wield a sword. This play asks the question: Is gender learned or innate?

El condenado por desconfiado by Tirso de Molina

The protagonist of ‘Damned for Despair’, Paulo is a hermit who lives in a cave in the wilderness as a devoted ascetic. In a nightmare, his soul is condemned, and he is plagued by the question: Will he go to Heaven or to Hell? The devil takes the form of an angel in order to trick him, kicking off a journey of faith and despair. This play has been performed in the UK but merits a fresh look with a view to future performances.

El castigo sin venganza by Lope de Vega

‘Punishment without Revenge’ is the tragedy of a noble family, in which a devoted son falls in love unexpectedly with his father’s new bride. A tale of incest, honour and revenge, this play is one of Lope’s better-known tragedies.

El conde Partinuplés by Ana Caro

In ‘Count Partinuplés’ the heroine Rosaura, Empress of Constantinople, is forced to choose a husband in order to provide an heir to the empire. Her cousin Aldora, a skilled magician, introduces her to occult ways of choosing a prince, and she chooses the Count Partinuplés of France, who is already engaged. This epic, magical play is unique in that it was written by a woman and its fantastical elements make the play a rarely-produced gem.

Call for Abstracts, ATHE’s 2009 Spanish Golden Age Seminar

22 October 2008

The Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE) is an international collective of scholars, educators, and practitioners founded in 1986.  The association hosts an annual conference, where upwards of 1000 people gather to present panels, conduct demonstrations, meet world-famous theatre artists, and test-drive new ideas.

For the first time in ATHE’s history, this conference will feature a Seminar addressing the dramaturgy of the Siglo de OroStrategies for Reviving Plays from the Spanish Golden Age, In Class and On Stage. Through pre-conference exchanges, in-conference discussions, and post-conference networking, this Seminar offers participants (and their auditors) extraordinary opportunities to share insights, interact with international experts, and forge new developments in the field.

The deadline for submitting an abstract is Nov 1, so if you’re interested in participating, read on!


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