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Religious and Secular Theater in Golden Age Spain

Essays in Honor of Donald T. Dietz

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Edited By Susan Paun de García and Donald R. Larson

The essays in this book honor the seminal contributions to the field of early modern Spanish drama of Donald T. Dietz, who has devoted his career to the promotion of classical theater, not just as dramatic poetry but as vibrant performance art. Written by a variety of respected scholars and never before published, the twenty-two essays, organized into six sections, present a wide variety of interests, approaches, and methodologies, including ideological and theological exegesis, poetic analysis, cultural studies, and semiotics of theater. The first section reviews Dietz’s impact on the field of Comedia studies, where he played a critical role in moving the discussion from page to stage. The next two sections explore facets of religious theater, including autos sacramentales and comedias de santos, as well as religious aspects of secular theater. Essays from the other sections explore questions of reading and of staging classical theater, in the original Spanish, in English translation, and in adaptation for the stage and for radio, as well as theoretical and practical approaches to the pedagogy of performance. Specialists and students within and across many disciplines—theater history, comparative performance studies, literary studies—will find this collection both useful and illuminating.

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Staging Mysticism: Cañizares’s La más amada de Cristo, Santa Gertrudis la Magna (Susan Paun de García)

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Staging Mysticism

Cañizares’s La más amada de Cristo, Santa Gertrudis la Magna

Susan Paun de García

Throughout his long life and successful career, from his first comedia, written at the tender age of thirteen or fourteen, to his last, five years before his death, José de Cañizares (1676–1750) cultivated practically every genre known at the time and experimented with new dramatic forms imported from France and Italy. Some of his more complicated productions were first staged in the Buen Retiro for the monarchs and the royal household, and later for the general public in the Cruz or the Principe, where the companies could recover some of the production costs incurred. However, some successful comedias de teatro—plays that combined spectacular stage effects with music to highlight and enhance the power of the poetry and to underscore the moral and ethical message of the drama—were written specifically for performance in the corrales. Illustrative of this sort of comedia de teatro is the comedia de santos.1

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