Spanish Republican Exile Theatre and Performance
Edited By Helena Buffery
Each chapter takes a particular case study as a starting point in order to assess the place of a particular text, practitioner or performance within Hispanic theatre tradition and then goes on to examine the case study’s relationship with the specific sociocultural context in which it was located and/or produced. The authors investigate wider issues concerning the recovery and performability of these documentary traces, addressing their position within the contemporary debate over historical and cultural memory, their relationship to the contemporary stage, the insights they offer into the experience and performance of exile, and their contribution to contemporary configurations of identity and community in the Hispanic world. Through this commitment to interdisciplinary debate, the volume offers a new and invigorating reimagination of twentieth-century Hispanic theatre from the margins.
MARIA DELGADOPerforming Exile: María Casares 203
MARIA DELGADO Performing Exile: María Casares1 Je suis espagnole et je ne pense ni ne peux être autre chose. — María Casares 1942, cited in Figuero and Carbonel 2005: 93 Histories of Spanish theatre have often focused, perhaps understandably, on the work of practitioners working within the Spanish state. And yet so many of the playwrights who have shaped the canon of plays often known as ‘Spanish drama’ or performers, producers, directors, architects and designers who have played a role in establishing the infrastructures and productions of the nation’s theatrical environment have been formed, as the essays in this collection show, by the cultures of exile that have been part of Spain’s social fabric. My focus in this paper is not on the wave of practitioners who escaped to the Americas during the Spanish Civil War and its aftermath, taking decisive roles in both the training and practice of theatre but rather on an actress who was one of the 400,000 Spaniards who f looded into France in the final months of the Civil War, María Casares. Casares has tended to be displaced into histories of French theatre as one of the seminal tragédiennes of the twentieth century, positioned as a key collaborator of 1 This chapter draws on an earlier publication on Casares (Delgado 2003: 90–131) and was completed with assistance from the AHRC Research Leave Scheme. I am grate- ful to them for their support of this project. Thanks are also due to...
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