Red Bull Theater's reading of Guillén de Castro’s DON QUIXOTE will premiere live and in-person at Repertorio Español, NYC, on Monday, October 2, 2023. It will be simulcast online. The recording of the performance will available for on-demand streaming until Sunday, October 8 at 11:59 PM ET. Get full details here.
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ABOUT THE PLAY
Guillén de Castro’s play Don Quixote de la Mancha brings together the iconic characters from Miguel de Cervantes’ masterpiece in an adaptation based on the captivating Cardenio tale that inspired Shakespeare’s lost play. In a unique twist from the novel, this story focuses on Cardenio and Dorotea and their respective love interests, reimagining this story for the stage with a plot about infants switched at birth, the demands and limitations of nobility, and the obstacles these characters must overcome to find justice and happiness. As the play begins, we are thrust into the midst of high drama as the clandestine love affair of Lucinda, a noblewoman, and Cardenio, a peasant, faces its biggest test when Lucinda confronts Cardenio about his hesitance to propose marriage after six years of courtship. Cardenio, who had never revealed his lower status to Lucinda, increasingly despairs at the impossibility of a happy ending as their love affair quickly becomes tangled with that of the peasant Dorotea and the cowardly Marqués Fernando. A supreme disappointment to his father, the Marqués moves through the world taking what he wants and discarding what he doesn’t, and after seducing Dorotea sets his sights on Lucinda. The titular Don Quixote and his trusty squire Sancho Panza find themselves tangled in these stories of love and desire, providing comic relief as they make their way through the plot, forever lost in chivalrous fantasies.
ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT
Guillén de Castro y Belvis (1569–1631) was a Valencian playwright whose theatrical oeuvre developed right alongside the comedia itself. Like many of his contemporaries he was a military man as well as a poet, including a brief governorship of a district of Naples. After retiring from military duties, Castro decided to try his luck as a playwright in the capital city of Madrid, a gamble that eventually paid off with a well-respected career. In preparation for this move, Castro published a collection of his plays with the last of his money, pinning all his hopes on selling these volumes to get him out of debt, one of which was his adaptation of Don Quijote de la Mancha.
Although only twenty-six of his plays were published in his lifetime, most scholars agree that the total number of works produced by Castro is closer to thirty-five. Much of Castro’s theater portrays the dramatic lives of high-born nobility, often using legendary figures from Iberian history and ballads and adapting them to the stage as in his best-known play, Las mocedades del Cid (the basis for Pierre Corneille’s Le Cid). The major themes explored across Castro’s works include: the formation of identity, including gender; power and authority, especially between rulers and their subjects; and the troubled domestic relationships of husbands and wives. His works clearly show a playwright fully engaged with his contemporaries across literary genres, and his skill in translating popular stories, like the ballad of Le Cid or Don Quijote’s exploits, as well as his unflinching presentation of urban life make him one of the most interesting playwrights of Spanish comedia.
Laura Muñoz | Colorado Mesa University
Laura Muñoz is an Assistant Professor of Spanish at Colorado Mesa University with a specialization in sixteenth and seventeenth-century Spanish theater and translation. Her research interests include bilingual theater, adaptation studies, and the works of Valencian playwright Guillén de Castro. As a member of the Diversifying the Classics initiative at UCLA she has collaborated on a series of translations with Juan de la Cuesta, including a co-translation of Guillén de Castro's Los mal casados de Valencia, Unhappily Married in Valencia (2019). She has served as dramaturg for several staged readings and productions of Hispanic classical theater in and around Los Angeles.
Red Bull Theater's reading of Guillén de Castro’s DON QUIXOTE will premiere live and in-person at Repertorio Español, NYC, on Monday, October 2, 2023. It will be simulcast online. The recording of the performance will available for on-demand streaming until Sunday, Ocotber 8 at 11:59 PM ET. Get full details here.