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Prismatic Reflections on Spanish Golden Age Theater

Essays in Honor of Matthew D. Stroud


Edited By Gwyn E. Campbell and Amy R. Williamsen

This volume, organized in five major sections, honors the myriad scholarly contributions of Matthew D. Stroud to the field of Early Modern Spanish theater. Building upon Stroud’s seminal studies, each section of essays simultaneously claims and wrestles with aspects of the rich legacy generated by his explorations. The essays included in this volume consider the moral, ethical, and legal backdrop of uxoricide, explorations of the meaningful intersections of psychoanalytic theory and the comedia, and engage the topics of women, gender, and identity. They also bridge the gap between dramatist and actors and between page and stage as they consider everything from the physical demands on Early Modern actresses to the twenty-first-century performance possibilities of comedias. Moreover, these essays incorporate studies that transcend temporal, spatial, political, and cultural limits, continuing to push at the edges of traditional scholarship characteristic of Stroud’s pioneering research. Both scholars and students will find this cohesive, compelling collection of interest across a wide spectrum of disciplines from theater history to performance studies, from philosophy to queer studies.
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Three Productions of El condenado por desconfiado: The Devil’s Polymorphism in Our Time


MARYRICA ORTIZ LOTTMAN The University of North Carolina, Charlotte

El condenado por desconfiado [Damned by Despair] is a canonical play of the Spanish Golden Age but one that presents special challenges to the modern director, given its heady theological themes. Three recent productions have tried to make this comedia more accessible, in part by altering the character of its Devil. All three productions have a striking number of features in common. They unanimously treat the Devil as a comic character, experiment with the Devil’s gender, and convert the character into a guide for the audience, sometimes greatly enlarging the role. While the productions of El condenado by Colombia’s Teatro del Valle (2003) and by Spain’s Centro Nacional de Teatro Clásico (2010) scored successes with their audiences, the Devil of Damned by Despair, an adaptation at London’s National Theatre (2012) showcased a multifaceted Devil who was no less terrifying for exercising a wicked sense of humor.1

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