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Stages of Exile

Spanish Republican Exile Theatre and Performance


Edited By Helena Buffery

This book brings together twelve specially commissioned essays that showcase current research on Spanish Republican exile theatre and performance, including work by some of the foremost scholars in the field. Covering a range of periods, geographical locations and theatrical phenomena, the essays are united by the common question of what it means to ‘stage exile’, exploring the relationship between space, identity and performance in order to excavate the place of theatre in Spanish Republican exile production.
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.


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HELENA BUFFERY Ef figies of Return in Spanish Republican Exile Theatre and Performance Cultures 229


HELENA BUFFERY Ef figies of Return in Spanish Republican Exile Theatre and Performance Cultures This chapter deals with a particular stage of exile, that of return, ranging from the ways in which theatre was used to deal with its perceived impos- sibility, through theatrical responses to the experience of repatriation and the journey home, to recent reception and re-presentation of exile theatre on the Spanish stage. However, instead of just seeing theatre as a mode of rep- resenting exile and return, as in the case studies traced earlier by José Sainz and Francisca Montiel, there will be greater focus here on the way in which it presents, embodies and performs dif ferent stages of exile, constructing a space of encounter in which the limits of experience are inscribed and incorporated into the bodies of actors negotiating a theatre space that is somehow shared with an audience. Thus, though the material discussed will contribute to the study of how exile has been represented in literature, art and film, ref lecting on the epistemological and ontological implications of these representations, it will also provide grounds on which to interrogate the assumptions underlying such an approach: namely, that literature, art and film (and within this theatre as ‘literary’ or ‘dramatic’ text) can only aim to represent, that their only status is as attempted ‘places of memory’ that might be considered to stand for a particular individual or group experi- ence and, if recovered from the archive, stand in either metaphorically or synecdochically for...

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