Diversifying the Classics | A New Take on the Classics at Almagro
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A New Take on the Classics at Almagro

Diversifying the Classics is delighted to announce its collaboration with the Festival de Teatro Clásico de Almagro, the premier festival of its kind in Spain, now under the leadership of Ignacio García. Known for staging comedias in an authentic corral as well as other historical spaces, and for hosting companies from far and wide, the festival  is redoubling its commitment to the Hispanic Golden Age while launching a series of new initiatives. The festival’s admirable goal is to aim for programming that is both festive and profound, while providing a kind of “nature preserve” for the great diversity of Hispanic classical theater.

Key for our purposes is Almagro’s new focus on the comedia across the world, and especially in the Spanish-speaking Americas. As the director puts it, “Somos todos nietos de Sor Juana y de Calderón” [“We are all grandchildren of Sor Juana and Calderón.”] Under García’s leadership, Almagro will welcome a new country each year as the designated official guest—in 2018, Colombia was the first “País Invitado,” in a program entitled Barroco de Ida y Vuelta. Mexico will follow in 2019, in a program that will feature Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz. This formalized international outreach brings the lively classical theater scene of the invited country to Almagro with much greater visibility, while also promoting the development of new productions for the residency. Our hope is that the U.S., too, will some day take its turn as the “País Invitado”—García assures us that the festival will gladly include subtitled productions in other languages.

Much like Diversifying the Classics, García favors expanding the canon of Golden Age theater to include less familiar works. His goal, he stresses, is to broaden the repertoire: “Beyond canonical works—La dama duende, El alcalde de Zalamea, El burlador de Sevilla, etc.—audiences should get to see Hombre pobre todo es trazas, or La aurora en Copacabana, both by Calderón; or Amor es más laberinto, by Sor Juana,  marvelous texts that are almost entirely unknown.” We will certainly be consulting García as we line up our next translation projects, to ensure that English-speaking practitioners and audiences can also access his rich discoveries.

We look forward to supporting the work of Almagro by promoting the comedia in the Anglophone world through our translations, and by sharing our scholarship on lesser-known texts and authors that challenge our sense of the canon. Our Golden Tongues initiative continues to serve as an incubator for new adaptations set in contemporary Los Angeles, showcasing the comedia’s enduring vitality. The next LA Escena, in Fall 2020, will feature these adaptations, our translations, and other productions from the Spanish-speaking Americas. Finally, we hope to present our bilingual anthology of monologues for actors, 90 Monologues from Spanish Classical Theater (eds. Fuchs, Monti, and Muñoz) at Almagro in July 2019, and so provide this resource to actors working at the very heart of the comedia.

Barbara Fuchs

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