Beyond Spain's Borders : Women Players in Early Modern National Theaters book cover
1st Edition

Beyond Spain's Borders
Women Players in Early Modern National Theaters

ISBN 9780367140366
Published January 17, 2019 by Routledge
220 Pages

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Book Description

The prolific theatrical activity that abounded on the stages of early modern Europe demonstrates that drama was a genre that transcended national borders. The transnational character of early modern theater reflects the rich admixture of various dramatic traditions, such as Spain’s comedia and Italy’s commedia dell’arte, but also the transformations across cultures of Spanish novellas to French plays and English interludes. Of particular import to this study is the role that women and gender played in this cross-pollination of theatrical sources and practices. Contributors to the volume not only investigate the gendered effect of Spanish texts and literary types on English and French drama, they address the actual journeys of Spanish actresses to French theaters and of Italian actresses to the Spanish stage, while several emphasize the movement of royal women to various courts and their impact on theatrical activity in Spain and abroad. In their innovative focus on women’s participation and influence, the chapters in this volume illustrate the frequent yet little studied transnational and transcultural points of contact between Spanish theater and the national theaters of England, France, Austria, and Italy.  

Table of Contents


List of Illustrations


Introduction: Women Players in Early Modern National Theaters

Anne J. Cruz and María Cristina Quintero

Part I From Spain to the Transnational Stage

1 The Domestication of Melibea: Recasting Spanish Characters in Early English Drama

José María Pérez Fernández

2 Transnational Transformations of Zayas’s El castigo de la miseria in France and England

Susan Paun de García

3 To Conquer Paris: Spanish Actresses at the Court of Louis XIV (1660-1674)

Carmen Sanz Ayán

4 Spanish Plots and Spanish Stereotypes by Restoration Women Playwrights

Anne J. Cruz

5 "It´s a Spanish comedia, and therefore it's better than any other fête": Empress Margarita Teresa and Spanish Cultural Influence on the Imperial Court

Luis Tercero Casado

Part II Commedia and Court Crosscurrents

6 Influencing Gender Roles: The Commedia dell’Arte in Spain

Ana Fernández Valbuena

7 Royal Players: Habsburg Women, Border Crossings, and the Performance of Queenship

María Cristina Quintero

8 A Stage for Isabel of Borbón: From Paris to Aranjuez

Carmela Mattza

9 Spain, Italy, and France: Marie Louise of Savoy, the Princess of Ursins, and the Crosscurrents of Court Theater during the Spanish War of Succession (1701-1714)

José A. López Anguita

10 Isabel Farnese and the Sexual Politics of the Spanish Court Theater

Ignacio López Alemany

Notes on Contributors

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Anne J. Cruz is Professor of Spanish and Cooper Fellow at the University of Miami, USA.

María Cristina Quintero is Professor of Spanish, Director of Comparative Literature and Codirector of Romance Languages at Bryn Mawr College, USA.


"This “recovery” project is a welcome addition to our often painfully inadequate knowledge of the roles women played in the circulation of dramatic texts and performance practices in early modern Europe. ... As the book’s first printed title pages announce explicitly, it is a tragicomedia. Nonetheless, this is a valuable book and one which deserves to be taken seriously, as do the theatrical foremothers whose contributions it honours."

- Hilaire Kallendorf, Texas A&M University

"Beyond Spain’s Borders thoroughly succeeds as an integral and coherent study because of its insistent and illuminating focus on women players in the widest sense of the term."

- Robert Henke, Bulletin of the Comediantes, Volume 69, Number 2, 2017, pp. 133-137

"Much excellent reading and research, sometimes in areas which are difficult to map, is behind these chapters, and contributors and editors alike should take the credit for the quality of the end result."

- Jonathan Thacker, Exeter College, University of Oxford, Early Modern Women: An Interdisciplinary Journal