Hispanic Literature in Translation: A Course on Spanish and Latin American Theatre
This course will explore the full spectrum of theatre, from the early modern period in Spain and colonial Spanish America to contemporary theatre on both sides of the Atlantic, including US Latino playwrights. We will read across periods to identify preoccupations and generic characteristics as theatre evolves and moves between the street and the salon, the college yard and the court, enclosed theatres and theatre for the enclosed. In the process, we will address a wide swath of ideas: on gender, class, freedom and totalitarianism, and the boundaries of identity. Students will be introduced to some basic concepts and figures, such as Lope de Vega’s brilliant articulation of “comedia” to Augusto Boal’s concept of an engaged theatre, or the work of FOMMA (Fortaleza de la Mujer Maya) and similar collectives. And we will read plays as plays, as literature, and as texts intended for performance on a stage. At the same time, students will have the opportunity to explore creative practices through engagement with different community organizations: schools, retirement homes, local theatre organizations, etc. Students are encouraged to apply concepts learned in class to their internships and to bring their ideas and reflections on their weekly practices for discussion in class. Every other week, one hour will be devoted to discussing their work in the community. Spanish is not required, but students who are sufficiently fluent in the language may opt to work in a community where Spanish is the primary language of communication.