This work focuses on rural community versions of Spanish Early Modern Theatre and deals with cultural heritage and the contemporary impact of Golden Age theatre on local rural communities. To this end, I examine the burgeoning of annual rural Golden Age theatre festivals that generate site-centered, non-professional productions of the plays, and revisit the conflict between tradition and innovation, between popular and high culture between authority of literary heritage and the people's right to the canon. The selection of Early Modern plays set in actual Spanish communities - Fuenteovejuna, El Alcalde de Zalamea, Numancia and Los tres blasones de España - renders an overview of the effect of these important works on their respective communities and focuses on the theatrical festivals as peripheral, subaltern, hybrid cultural phenomena. I take into consideration not only traditional and significant studies on these four renowned plays, but recent theories on staging, performance and popular reception and agency.
The research involved crosses traditional disciplinary boundaries between literature, history, geography, and politics by centering on the appropriation and re-examination of a past that is continuously revised through contemporary performance, and which is adjusted to fit the needs and desires of the context in which it is interpreted. This diachronic approach allows for a new perspective on contemporary performances which question cultural politics, redefine tradition and transcend geo-political boundaries.
About the author:
Elena García-Martín is an associate professor at the University of Utah.
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