Reading Performance: Spanish Golden-Age Theatre and Shakespeare on the Modern Stage

May 2009
15 black and white illustrations
392 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
Monografias A
ISBN: 9781855661813
Format: Hardback
Library eBook
Tamesis Books

Reading Performance: Spanish Golden-Age Theatre and Shakespeare on the Modern Stage

Susan L. Fischer

Spanish Golden-Age plays take their place at the forefront of world theatre.
Oscar Wilde once observed that `it is the spectator, and not life, that art really mirrors'. This thought is borne out in this volume, which brings together two different and often mutually exclusive constituencies: the academic critic and the theatre practitioner. In looking at the ways in which theatre is a barometer of society, the essays in this book form part of a larger theoretical inquiry into performance as interpretation, contingent upon the cultural context. Engaging with theoretical approaches to culture, and theoreticians from Elam to Brook, and from Derrida to Bakhtin, the author analyzes in detail productions of plays by Lope de Vega, Tirso de Molina, and Calderón de la Barca, as well as an adaptation of Rojas' Celestina, on the Spanish, or French, or Anglo-American stage. Two chapters deal with appropriations of Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice in translation on the Spanish and French boards.
As they read performance in [trans]national productions, these essays are not only at the cutting-edge of theatre studies on the `foreign' stage, but they also bring Spanish Golden-Age plays, long neglected by professional directors of the classics because of the lack of a continuous performance tradition, closer to assuming their rightful place amongst `the great theatre of the world'.

SUSAN L. FISCHER is Professor of Spanish and Comparative Literature at Bucknell University.

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Table of Contents

Calderón and Semiological Self-Exorcism: El médico de su honra
Calderón and "L'Illusion Cinématographique" Subverted: Antes que todo es mi dama
Rojas and the Interrogation of Textual Author(ity): La Celestina
Calderón and the Ideology of Egalitarianism "Más bien dado": El alcalde de Zalamea
Tirso and "Deadly" Theatre: El vergonzoso en palacio
Lope's Carnivalesque Theatre of Terror: Fuenteovejuna
Tirso and the Restaging of Eschatology: El burlador de Sevilla y convidado de piedra
Lope's Aspectuality and Performativity: El castigo sin venganza
Calderón and the "Warrant of Womanhood": Life's a Dream
Calderón and the Contingency of Radical Tragedy: The Painter of Dishonour
Lope and the Problem of an Ending: Peribanez
Lope and the Politics of Truth: The Dog in the Manger
Lope and the Masks of Reality: Pedro et le Commandeur
Spanish Appropriations of Shakespeare: El mercader de Venecia
French Appropriations of Shakespeare: Le marchand de Venise


[O]f major interest to those who study translation, broadly exciting and innovative collection for readers in theater studies, translation, and performance. BULLETIN OF THE COMEDIANTES

[T]his compilation represents a compelling example of the importance of the performative context for the study of theatre [...] Fischer's descriptions of lighting, staging, and costumes and the 15 black-and-white photographs of performances also prove valuable for researchers. Recommended. CHOICE

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