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Religious and Secular Theater in Golden Age Spain

Essays in Honor of Donald T. Dietz


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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Mentoring Spanish Theater Performance and Service Learning: The BYU Spanish Golden Age Theater Project’s Production of Guillén de Castro’s El Narciso en su opinión (Valerie Hegstrom / Dale J. Pratt)



Mentoring Spanish Theater Performance and Service Learning

The BYU Spanish Golden Age Theater Project’s Production of Guillén de Castro’s El Narciso en su opinión

Valerie Hegstrom and Dale J. Pratt

Of what value is the study of the Spanish Comedia? Although a complete answer lies far beyond the scope of this essay, and the question may seem unnecessary to Comedia scholars, similar questions are asked by section heads, department chairs, deans, outside evaluators, legislators, potential employers, parents, and perhaps most significantly, by college students themselves. We have been able to leverage student learning through mentored productions of full-length Spanish comedias in ways that achieve readily assessable learning outcomes respected by all of these stakeholders. In this essay, we recount the remarkable experiences of our Brigham Young University Spanish Golden Age Theater Project in conducting numerous school assemblies related to our 2007 production of Guillén de Castro’s El Narciso en su opinión. During a semester of mentoring, our student director and actors took the play to the Chamizal International Siglo de Oro Drama Festival, the Teatro Cívico Juárez, BYU, the University of Colorado, BYU-Idaho, Idaho State University, and into secondary and elementary school classrooms and auditoriums in Utah and Texas. Free of charge, the students taught thousands of audience members about early modern Spanish theater not only through their performances but also with their sixty-eight-page play guide as well as during talk-back sessions, outreach assemblies, and...

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