▼ (20) José María Rodríguez Méndez – Autumn Flower
José M. Rodríguez Méndez: AUTUMN FLOWER (Flor de otoño). Translated by Marion Peter Holt. 2001.
Drama in 2 acts. Lluiset, a young attorney in the politically volatile Barcelona of 1930, leads a double life. Unknown to his upper class family, he is a popular gay transvestite cabaret performer by night and known as "Autumn Flower." Lluiset becomes involved with an anarchist group, is arrested, and condemned to death. In a powerful final scene, Lluiset pretends with his mother that he is boarding a ship for America but in reality he is being led to his execution.
One set for multiple scenes which can be achieved with lighting, quick shifts of basic elements, and possibly projections or film.
3 principal roles (2 men, 1 woman), with 8 to 10 actors, both men and women, playing multiple roles.
World premiere: Dir. Antonio Diaz Zamora, Teatro Principal, Valencia, 1982.
Contact translator's agent: The Barbara Hogenson Agency, 165 West End Ave. Suite 19-C, New York, NY 10023; Phone: 212-874-8084
Autumn Flower. Original production, Teatro Español, Madrid, 1982. Directed by Antonio Díaz Zamora. Photo by Manuel Martínez Muñoz.
▼ (19) Paloma Pedrero – First Star & The Railing
Paloma Pedrero: FIRST STAR (Una estrella) and THE RAILING (El pasamanos). Translated by Rick Hite.
Estrella, a successful novelist, goes to a seedy bar thinking she is gathering material for her next book. Once there she finds a world which pulls her back to her painful years of growing up with an alcoholic father, now dead. Her encounter with Juan Dominguez, the father's old drinking and gambling partner, brings discovery, reconciliation, and forgiveness.
1 woman (early 30's); 3 men (one 65, two 30's to 40's)
First Star. Virginia Wesleyan, 1998. Directed by Rebecca Williams.
An elderly couple, in their effort to get their landlady to install a handrail for the hall stairs, becomes the subject and project of a popular T.V. show which engages in social issues. Human dignity and privacy struggle against media exploitation.
Single set. Interior: the living room of a modest, second-floor apartment with hall landing and stairs leading down to street level.
2 women (one 60's, one early 30's); 2 men (one 70's, one early 20's)
Contact translator: Rick Hite, 742 Baldwin Ave., Norfolk, VA 23517; Phone 757-622-7631; Fax 757-461-5025; E-mail email@example.com; or author through SGAE
▼ (18) Sebastián Junyent – Packing up the Past
Sebastián Junyent: PACKING UP THE PAST (Hay que deshacer la casa). Translated by Ana Mengual. 2000.
Two middle-aged sisters, who have been estranged for a number of years, are reunited when they close up their deceased parents' home. One has been a model daughter, wife and mother; the other ran away from home with a married man. Reminiscences about childhood culminate in a comic rendition of "Singing in the Rain." Less happy memories of growing up in Franco's Spain lead them to realize that both have been equally victimized by the men in their lives.
Winner of Spain's prestigious Lope de Vega prize, this comedy opened in Valencia in 1994 and at the Teatro de la Comedia in Madrid in 1995, directed by Joaquín Vida and starring Amparo Rivelles and Lola Cardona. American premiere, in Spanish with original cast: Miami, 1985. Packing up the Past received its American premiere at Converse College in Spartanburg, South Carolina on 10 May 2000, directed by Steven R. Hunt.
Contact translator: Ana Mengual, 1388 2nd Avenue, Apt. 3A, New York, NY 10021; Phone: 1-212-734-7134
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, or author through SGAE.
Packing up the Past. Original Spanish production, 1985. Directed by Joaquin Vida. Photo by Manuel Martínez Muñoz.
▼ (17) Josep M. Benet i Jornet – Legacy
Josep Maria Benet i Jornet: LEGACY (Testament). Translated by Janet DeCesaris. 2000.
A terminally-ill professor entrusts his most brilliant student with the culminating work of his scholarly career. Responding to a personal ad, he discovers that the student is a male prostitute. Learning that a friend's daughter is pregnant, he discovers that the same student is the father. In a battle of wills, the professor's hopes for the future are countered by the younger man's anger.
Three men plus various male and female off-stage voices
Minimal set and props to suggest the three men's apartments
Premiere at Maria Guerrero National Theater in Madrid, March 1996. Directed by Gerardo Vera.
Contact translator Janet DeCesaris, Facultat de Traducció i Interpretació, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Rambla Santa Monica, 30-32, 08002 Barcelona; Fax: 011-34-93-542-22-95, or author through SGAE.
Legacy. Catalan production, Barcelona, 1997. Directed by Sergi Belbel. Photo by Pilar Aymerich.
▼ (16) Luis Araújo – Vanzetti
Luis Araújo: VANZETTI. Translated by Mary Alice Lessing. 1999.
Documentary drama based on letters of Bartolomeo Vanzetti to his sister and father in Italy. Series of monologues and dialogues among these three family members and the American judge illuminate the human dimension of the arrest and execution in the United States of the immigrant laborer who was unjustly punished because of his anarchist beliefs.
2 men (one of whom plays 2 roles), 1 woman
World premiere: Cuarta Pared, Madrid, 1993. Dir. Luis Araújo.
Vanzetti. Original production, Madrid, 1993. Directed by Luis Araújo.
▼ (15) Fernando Arrabal – The Bodybuilder's Book of Love
Fernando Arrabal: THE BODY-BUILDER'S BOOK OF LOVE (Breviario de amor de un halterófilo). Translated by Lorenzo Mans. 1999.
This metatheatrical tour de force for two characters, like Arrabal's world-acclaimed The Architect and the Emperor of Assyria, combines surface farce and eroticism with a philosophical discussion of spiritual aspiration, love and death.
Single set, with two playing areas
2 men (a mature weightlifter and an androgynous youth)
World premiere: Lucernaire Theatre, Paris, 1984. Dir. Albert Delpy. Major revival: Petit Odéon, Paris, 1987. American premiere: INTAR, New York, 1990. Dir. Tom O'Horgan.
Contact translator: Lorenzo Mans, INTAR, PO Box 788, New York, NY 10108
The Body-Builder's Book of Love. INTAR, New York City, 1990. Directed by Tom O'Horgan.
▼ (14) Antonio Buero-Vallejo – The Sleep of Reason
Antonio Buero-Vallejo: THE SLEEP OF REASON (El sueño de la razón). Translated by Marion Peter Holt. 1998.
Drama in 2 acts. The protagonist of Buero-Vallejo's most widely performed play is the painter Goya at a point in life when he is totally deaf and covering the walls of his country house with the dark and phantasmagoric "Black Paintings." These are seen as projections throughout the play. The action takes place over a few days in December 1823 and culminates in a scene of stark violence played out in total silence.
The play has been translated into more than 15 languages. The English version had its professional premiere at Baltimore's Center Stage in 1984 and has also been staged by the Wilma Theatre in Philadelphia (1986), the Loose Change Col. in London (1991), and the Bailiwick Repertory Co. in Chicago (1994).
15 men (can be performed effectively by 8 actors by doubling), 2 women
World premiere: Dir. José Osuna, Madrid, 1970.
Contact author's and translator's agent: Barbara Hogenson Agency, 165 West End Ave., New York NY 10023; Phone: 212-874-8084.
The Sleep of Reason. Wilma Theater, Philadelphia, 1986. Directed by Blanka Zizka.
Fermín Cabal: PASSAGE (Travesía). Translated by Rick Hite. 1998
In this "dangerous comedy," three passengers form a lover's triangle aboard a merchant ship headed down the west coast of Africa. Playwright Fermín Cabal sets up an unusually clever staging and provides highly compelling characters for actors in what critic Enrique Centeno of Diario 16 has called "the most representative work of Spanish theater of the decade."
Passage premiered at the Teatro Juan Bravo de Segovia in Spain in 1993. The play has been awarded the Tirso de Molina (1991) and Teatro de Rojas (1883) prizes and was runner-up for the national Critic's Prize. Santiago Ramos, who created Domingo, and Luisa Martínez, who appeared in the Madrid production, have also received major prizes for their roles in this play. American premiere, 17 April - 10 May 1998, Generic Theater, Norfolk, Virginia.
2 men (age range 40-48), 1 woman (age range 38-45)
Contact translator: Rick Hite, 742 Baldwin Ave., Norfolk, VA 23517; Phone: 757-622-7631; Fax 757-461-5025; or author through SGAE
Fermín Cabal: GET THEE BEHIND ME! (¡Vade Retro!). Translated by Robert Louis Sheehan. 1988.
Two-act comedy, set in a Catholic school. When a young priest comes to confide in the Prefect that he plans to leave the Church, the result is a sleepless night, filled with verbal duelling and physical confrontation. The serious underpinning of dialogue between these representatives of two generations is tempered by surface humor and filmic references.
World premiere: Dir. Angel Ruggiero, María Guerrero National Theater, Madrid, 1982.
Contact translator: Robert L. Sheehan, 790 Boyston St., Apt 11J; Boston, MA 02199; Phone: 617-266-2008, or author through SGAE
▼ (12) José Luis Alonso de Santos – Hostages in the Barrio
José Luis Alonso de Santos: Hostages in the Barrio (La estanquera de Vallecas). Translated by Phyllis Zatlin.
Two unemployed laborers, imitating film images and language, attempt to rob the elderly owner of a tobacco shop and her granddaughter. In farcical fashion the tables are turned, and the bungling robbers find themselves trapped by the police. They at first hold the two women hostage, but the four quickly make peace and even band together. At the play's end, however, farce turns to tragedy. When the robbers decide to surrender, the police gun down the younger of the two men.
First staged in 1981 in a fringe theatre in Vallecas, a working-class neighborhood in the outskirts of Madrid, La estanquera de Vallecas was revived at Madrid's Martín Theatre in 1985 and made into a movie in 1986.Marked by surface humor, a lively use of colloquial language, and the introduction of characters marginal to the mainstream of society, the play blends realistic comedy with touches of the grotesque. Performed in staged readings at Bridge Theater, Miami, 1996 and 1997, Dir. Steve Wise. (Alternate title: Hostages in Hialeah.)
3 men, 2 women, offstage voices
Hostages in the Barrio. Bridge Theater, Miami. Directed by Steve Wise.
▼ (11) Pilar Enciso and Laura Olmo – Three Lion Plays for Children
Pilar Enciso and Laura Olmo: THREE LION PLAYS FOR CHILDREN (The Lion Calls a Meeting, The Lion Foiled, The Lion in Love). Translated by Carys Evans-Corrales. 1997.
Based respectively on a fable by Jean La Fountaine, a short story from the Panchatantra, and an Aesop fable, these thought-provoking children's plays are of interest to adults as well. They blend fantasy and humor and suggest a dynamic, highly visual staging that invites the audience to participate. The plays, which have been frequently staged in Spain and Latin America, range from eleven to four characters and require one, simple set each.
Contact translator: Carys Evans-Corrales, Humanities Division, University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, PA 16701; Phone: 814-362-7291; or author through SGAE
The Lion Calls a Meeting. Madrid,1990. Directed by Juan Carlos Pérez de la Fuente. Photo by Antonio García Villares.