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Spring Symposium "Spanish Theater: Text and Performance"

La familia by Jose Luis Raymond
"La familia," Bestia contra bestia, courtesy of José Luis Raymond

During the first week of April, 2012, the Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities will host a
symposium on "Spanish Theater: Text and Performance," funded by a Research Scholars Grant from Vanderbilt University. In addition to the Warren Center, cosponsors of the symposium include the Max Kade Center for European  and German Studies and the Spanish Ministry of Culture. The events will feature talks by four distinguished scholars and theater practitioners—two from Spain and two from the United States—as well as several short dramatic performances by Vanderbilt students, including graduate students in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese and participants in the Master of Liberal Arts and Science program.

The invited speakers include Valerie Hegstrom, professor of Spanish at Brigham Young University; Vincent Martin, professor of Spanish at San Diego State University; José Luis Raymond, artist, photographer, set designer, and
professor at Madrid's Royal School of Dramatic Art (Real Escuela Superior de Arte Dramático); and Mar Zubieta, theater scholar and historian, editor, and director of cultural activities at the National Company of Classical Theater (Compañía Nacional de Teatro Clásico), based in Madrid.

Valerie Hegstrom has written extensively on early modern Spanish theater. She has concentrated on female playwrights of the period, including nuns who wrote plays for convent audiences. She also has been active in staging and directing plays from the Spanish Golden Age repertoire. Vincent Martin has focused his research on theater, on ties between drama and philosophy, and on questions of performance. He has published a number of studies on Pedro Calderón de la Barca, the author of the most renowned Spanish play, La vida es sueño (Life Is a Dream). Professor Martin is managing editor of the journal Bulletin of the Comediantes. An artist who cultivates a variety of fields, José Luis Raymond has designed sets for many plays in Spain and internationally. In 2010, he was the set designer for Lope de Vega's El caballero de Olmedo (The Knight from Olmedo), an early seventeenth-century play, staged at the Gala Hispanic Theatre in Washington, D.C., and in the spring semester of 2011, his photography exhibit "Bestia contra bestia" (Beast versus Beast), was on display at Vanderbilt's Fine Arts Gallery. Mar Zubieta coauthored the adaptation
of El caballero de Olmedo for the D.C. performance, and she is involved at all levels of the production process in her administrative role in Spain's national classical theater company.

"Spanish Theater: Text and Performance" should be of interest to students and faculty in Spanish, theater, literature, and culture in general. All events will be free and open to the public. The schedule will appear on the Warren Center website.