Essay on Spanish Theatre and Its Influence in Latin America

Essay on Spanish Theatre and Its Influence in Latin America

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Since its creation the Spanish Golden Age Theatre has held an important role in the Spanish society. The golden age theatre was from 1590-1681. During this era, the Golden Age had a huge influence over the Latin American theatre world. Spain in particular saw a monumental increase in the production of live theatre. Before the Golden Age era, live theatre was non-existence. The production of live theatre became popular and was attended by both lower and higher class of people. In addition women was allowed to act in theatre plays with men. Before the Golden Age, male actors played female character roles. Over a period of time, live theatre plays started to incorporate religion, comedy and tragedy performances. Spain also introduced its own forms and genres of theatre with the development of the zarzuela. The genre zarzuela is a lyric-dramatic genre that alternates between spoken and singing acting. Zarzuela started to influence many Hispanic countries and Cuba developed their own traditions of Zarzuela.

Pedro Calderon de la Barca is a well-known playwright during the early years of theatre in Spain. Calderon’s debut as playwright was Amor, honor y poder. By 1635, Calderon was recognized as the best Spanish dramatist of the 1600s. Calderon initiated the Spanish Golden Age theatre because of his dedicated work to perfecting his craft. He was a perfectionist who often revisited and reworked his plays after they were first performed for theatregoers. The famous playwright was also known for his symbolism he inserted in his plays. For example one metaphor he incorporated was making a fall into disgrace, the fall representing dishonor. In addition most of his plays had been influenced by his Jesuit education.

Juan del Encina alo...


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...e two main forms of Zarzuelo, the Baroque and romantic Zarzuela. The masque-like musical theatre had existed in Spain since the era of Juan del Encina, the genre was giving dramatic function to the musical numbers and choruses were incorporated as well. In 1657 at the Royal Palace of El Prado, King Phili IV of Spain and Queen Mariana attended the first performance of a new comedy by Pedro Calderon de la Barca. The golden age of zarzuela lasted under two decades from the 1920s and 30s. During this period, venues in La Habana hosted a number of production theater shows. Cuban zarzuela played a major role in the development of Cuban identities




















References:
Bristol University’s The Theatre of the Spanish Golden Age
Sebastian Doggart Latin American Plays: New Drama from Argentina, Cuba, Mexico and Peru
Melveena McKendrick Theatre in Spain, 1400-1700

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