2017 Siglo de Oro Drama Festival
The Festival celebrates Spain’s “Golden Age” presenting some theatre productions inspired by the heritage of classic drama left by luminaries such as Lope de Vega, Miguel de Cervantes and Calderón de la Barca.
Since its beginning at Chamizal National Memorial in the spring of 1976, the Siglo de Oro Drama Festival has attained an international reputation for presenting quality presentations from Spain’s Golden Age, in both English and Spanish, by theatrical groups from all over the world.
Over the years, symposia in both El Paso and Ciudad Juárez have provided a rich experience to both scholars and audience members with a vivid comparison and discussion of the original literary form inspired by the modern theatre productions staged at the Festival.
The Heresy of Love
- On Wednesday, April 19 at 7 pm.
- By Helen Edmundson. Performed by the Illinois State University School of Theatre and Dance.
- In English.
Set in a 17th Century Mexico City convent, The Heresy of Love imagines the life of one of the era’s foremost intellectuals –a nun named Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz. Writing during the Inquisition, Juana’s plays and poems were acclaimed by the Court, but criticized by many in the Church for their secular themes. When a zealous new archbishop arrives to silence her, Juana must find a way to defend her life of the mind.
Edmundson writes The Heresy of Love in the style of Spanish Golden Age Drama, weaving a tale of betrayal, desire, mistaken identity, and raw ambition.
¿Qué con Quique Quinto?
- On Thursday, April 20 at 7 pm.
- By Andrés Carreño, based on Shakespeare’s Henry V. Performed by EFE Tres Teatro & Cabaret Misterio from Mexico City, Mexico.
- In Spanish.
In this adaptation we will meet Ariel, Foca and Zote who navigate in the Nautilius Cabaret, taking drama with them to tell stories as they travel through the world of imagination. From among the hundreds of stories they carry, they will tell us in their own special way today the story of Henry V, or “Quique” as he is known to his close friends. Quique reigns over the Kingdom of the Children Everyone Ignores which confronts the Kingdom of Censorship. When Quique is questioned because of his youth and for dodging the problems of his kingdom, he must arm himself with courage to face his problems.
La Reunión de los Zanni
- On Friday, April 21 at 7 pm.
- By Daniel Tapia and Miguel Ángel Batista. Performed by Compañía de Teatro Reymala, Spain.
- In Spanish.
In La Reunión de los Zanni, Señor Pantalone, who is a cloth merchant, faces a crisis. No one wants to buy his merchandise anymore. In such circumstances, he has to deal with his daughter’s impending nuptials.
The context of the play is a comedy in which the characters go about as normal until a new character bursts onto the scene causing them each to face their personal fears and ghosts. La Reunión de los Zanni is commedia dell’arte in its purest form: behind what appears to be a devilishly fast-paced baroque comedy there is an absolute renewal of the genre, the father (or perhaps grandfather) of modern drama. The piece is not just modernized; it also manages to weave a fine web of criticism about modern society which will not leave the viewer indifferent.
El Retablo de las Maravillas
- On Saturday, April 22 at 7 pm.
- By Cervantes, an adaptation. Performed by Morfeo Teatro, Spain
- In Spanish
In the 17th century, retablos were a kind of puppet stage which traveling actors would set up in the town squares and, by way of puppets or actors, perform well-known Bible passages and myths. This entremés by Cervantes presents a hilarious satire on the hypocrisies of the Spain of that period. Some actors show the leaders of a town a retablo which is supposedly magic and does not reveal itself to anyone who is low-born or illegitimate. The leaders, to show that they are “well-bred,” pretend to see when they actually do not. At the end of the comedy, Cervantes highlights the bitterness of his message by a surprise ending in which he makes a plea about honesty and virtue.