Translations Main - Diversifying the Classics
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The UCLA working group The Comedia in Translation and Performance brings together academics, playwrights, translators, directors, and actors to translate and promote the plays. Since January 2014, we have translated one play a year, with additional plays translated by individual members of the workshop. All translations are available for download here and in print from Juan de la Cuesta. We welcome the use of our translations in performance. We have also published a bilingual anthology of monologues for actors: 90 Monologues from Classical Spanish Theater. 
The Force of Habit by Guillén de Castro
Can gender be learned and unlearned? Félix and Hipólita, two siblings separated at birth, are brought up in the habits of the opposite gender. Kept close by his mother’s side, Félix is timid and sensitive. Hipólita, trained by her father on the battlefield, is fiercely attached to her sword. When the family is reunited, the father insists on making the siblings conform to traditional gender roles. Helped along the way by their respective love interests, the two gradually assume traditional positions, but their journeys expose the limitations of the gender system. 
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Unhappily Married in Valencia by Guillén de Castro
Amazingly modern, this biting comedy shows what happens after the traditional happy ending. Two married couples air their disillusions with marriage, while the cross-dressed mistress of one of the husbands merrily manipulates one and all. With everyone attracted to the wrong person, innuendo, accusations, and revenge steal the show. 
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The Widow of Valencia by Lope de Vega
The Widow of Valencia introduces audiences to Leonarda, a young woman intent on protecting the freedom afforded by her husband’s death. Though she rejects her suitors by day, she makes her own arrangements by night, selecting a lover whom she deprives of the ability to identify her. Hers is a balancing act of appearances and disappearances, aspirations and desires. How long can she keep everyone in the dark?
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What We Owe our Lies by Juan Ruiz de Alarcón
Mexican writer Alarcón imagines a Madrid in which a foreign suitor can wreak havoc with preexisting alliances. Urbanity and urban space are at the heart of this play: how do you sort out affections when the women you court live literally on top of each other, in a house with multiple stories? Parents remain offstage as sons and daughters must figure out their obligations to each other and to who they are, or at least who they say they are. 
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A Wild Night in Toledo by Lope de Vega
In Spanish popular culture, the phrase “una noche toledana” refers to a long and sleepless night of wild, often amorous intrigues, or of unrelenting annoyances. In this funny, fast-moving play, young men and women cross paths at a hostel in a single night. Under the cover of darkness and disguise, they use ingenuity and humor to navigate personal desires, negotiate collective frustrations, and test whether they can rewrite their destinies alongside their identities. 
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Women and Servants by Lope de Vega
Recently rediscovered in Madrid’s National Library, this comedia emerges from its 400-year sleep with a remarkable freshness: it presents a world of suave dissimulation and accommodation, where creaky notions of honor and vengeance have virtually no place. Lope depicts a sophisticated urban culture of self-fashioning and social mobility, as the titular figures outsmart fathers and masters to marry those they love. The sisters Luciana and Violante prefer their choices to men of higher standing, and are more than capable of getting their way. 
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To Love Beyond Death by Calderón de la Barca
To Love Beyond Death dramatizes the moment when ethnic, religious, and cultural differences turned Spanish subjects against one another in the 1560’s Rebellion of the Alpujarra. When the Crown attempts to eradicate Andalusi culture from Spain, the Moriscos–Muslims forcibly converted to Christianity, as well as their descendants–are put into an impossible position, and turn to armed resistance. The tragic story of the Morisco Tuzaní’s search for revenge after the death of his beloved Clara is as much about love and devotion as it is about civil war, and the violent emergence of a modern nation. 
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The Courage to Right a Woman’s Wrongs by Ana Caro 
Written by one of the Spanish Golden Age’s most accomplished female playwrights, Ana Caro’s The Courage to Right a Woman’s Wrongs is a comedy of wild intrigue and lively ingenuity in which Leonor crosses geographical boundaries and defies social expectations of gender in order to bring her fickle lover, Juan, to justice and restore her lost honor. Dressed as the dashing Leonardo, she travels from Seville to Brussels, where she finds Juan and initiates her shrewd plan for revenge. What follows is a hilarious feat of masterful maneuvering, replete with cross-dressing and unexpected twists, in which she repeatedly outwits the men around her. And while the thrill of Leonor’s efforts to seek redress culminates with the expected restoration of her honor and marriage to Juan, the questions raised by her demands for justice make the play anything but conventional. Through this stirring tale of a woman’s courage to right the wrongs she has suffered, the play holds up to scrutiny contemporary notions of masculine honor and offers in their place a vision that opens up space for women and their agency.
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90 Monologues from Classical Theater
Edited by Barbara Fuchs, Jennifer Monti, and Laura Muñoz
Spanish classical theater offers one of the most popular and vibrant dramatic repertoires ever produced in the West, and deserves to be far better known in the English-speaking world. This dual-language anthology is intended to provide you with wonderful audition monologues, to be sure, but also to spark your interest in the plays included here and the broader canon that they represent. We offer the original Spanish as well as a range of translations in verse and prose, to give a sense of the tremendous variety available. Our volume is part of the Diversifying the Classics project at UCLA, which seeks to foster awareness and appreciation of Hispanic classical theater and to give theater professionals the materials and tools to explore its rich tradition. We hope that you will enjoy the great variety of characters and situations represented here, and that you will read further.