Festival 2022

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The second international edition of Our New Gold Digital Theatre Festival (2022) is Sponsored by The Association for Hispanic Classical Theater (AHCT), Ohio Wesleyan University, MacEwan University & Xperteatro. Our New Gold 2022, features the work of students exploring new ways of approaching, understanding and adapting Spanish classical plays focusing on current social issues (such as gender, racial and social inequality, systemic oppression, cultural identity and environment)

My mother used to tell me that not everything that glitters is gold

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WINNERS

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Wesley Rancher
Ohio Wesleyan University
Piece title: Ricardo’s mensaje
Inspired by: El perro del hortelano
Short film

Link to piece: https://youtu.be/wNn7Pd-GiHo

This short story is a modern-day adaptation inspired by playwright Lope de Vega’s El perro del hortelano. The script has been translated from Spanish to English. Originally these confessions were from Marques Ricardo, a male character within the play and were directed towards Diana, the main female character, Diana. His goal was to get her to fall in love with him as he was obsessed with her. He would speak in a very grandiose tone because he felt self-important and that Diana would be a fool to fall in love with anyone else, especially someone that did hold the same elite status as himself. Diana was royalty and belonged to the high social class and this was the same case for Ricardo, therefore, he felt they were meant to be together. The change within this short story, however, is instead of these lines being directed to a person about how in love they are, the confessions are projected to the environment, nature, sustainability and the importance of protecting the natural world. This environmental representation is conveyed through drawings and cutouts and compiled into a stop motion animation.

Milsa Maúrtua Salvador Pontificia Universidad Católica Peru & UCM Madrid, Spain.
Piece title: GUILT
Inspired by: La vida es sueño (passion play) by Calderón de la Barca
Created by and featuring Milsa Maúrtua. Filmed by Alek Nieto Video Art

Link to piece: https://youtu.be/kF1SSy-SYJY

This piece is inspired by the character of the shadow, from the passion play “La vida es sueño” written by Calderón de la Barca. In the passion play, Calderón refers to the divine commandment, free will, human identity, human dignity, sin, destruction, man as the true heir of the world, and the redemption of man among other subjects that refer to the relationship that exists between man and God (power). In this version, I refer to man’s awareness of guilt and his acceptance as something intrinsic. I see guilt as a social construct, a responsibility which does not always belong to us, but it is necessary to learn to live with it. During the writing of this piece, I took fragments of man’s monologue and intertwined them with my own original writing, denouncing certain aspects of our everyday life. I believe that we must be proud of our guilt in order to create. We will leave the apple turned into butterflies.

Elizabeth Sumoza & Wyatt Wells
Ohio Wesleyan University Piece title: Laurencio and Liseo Exposed… Inspired by or based on: La dama boba
Short film

Link to piece: https://youtu.be/QksOEg1aVM4


This piece is inspired by the characters of Finea and Nise from the play La Dama Boba by Lope de Vega. La Dama Boba follows the trials and tribulations of love and class, as sisters Finea and Nise are obligated as honourable women to find good potential matches for their husbands. Finea is portrayed as a helpless dumb airhead who has a large dowry while Nise is the book smart sister with a smaller dowry. Before the play starts, Laurencio has been in a relationship with Nise, but at the beginning of the play, he decides to pursue Finea for her larger dowry. Liseo has been arranged to marry Finea by her father but decides to pursue Nise because of Finea’s lack of intelligence. The play mostly follows Finea’s transformation from idiocy to intelligence-driven by her feelings of love, and it ends with her and Laurencio winning against the odds and marrying. In true comedia fashion, there cannot just be one wedding, so Nise and Liseo end up together as well, despite Nise’s statements in the play that she is only interested in Laurencio, and the play never showing how her perspective of Liseo changed. This video highlights Nise’s thought process, vlog style, as she considers the fact that the man she once loved no longer loves her, and that a man she is not interested in is pursuing her adamantly. We see Finea share her own opinion and instead of the sisters being put against each other, we see their support of each other. Then, instead of ending in comedia fashion, Nise does not get married and is instead allowed to make her own choice. https://youtu.be/QksOEg1aVM4

Katherine Page Bowdoin College
Piece title: Los burladores de Bowdoin College
Inspired by or based on: El burlador de Sevilla Video Art

Link to piece: https://bowdoin. ensemblevideo.com/Watch/Tb9o7SFz

This project makes the connection between Tirso de Molina’s Don Juan and mens’ college sports teams in the US. Like Don Juan preying on women for his own pleasure and entertainment, men’s sports teams on my campus encourage predatory behaviour toward women. I highlight this through the example of an annual men’s hockey Christmas party that deceptively invites certain women as “hook up” goals for the freshman male athletes. This event romanticizes and upholds the objectification of women; women who don’t get the invitation may feel unwanted and undesirable, and women who are invited may feel a sense of male validation and pits themselves against other women.
I use a Don Juan monologue from El burlador de Sevilla to mimic a hockey player’s drunken attempt to seduce their targeted woman, then follow the monologue with clips of myself, alone on campus, filled with uncomfortable thoughts and feelings that just won’t go away. I aim to center the long-lasting impact that toxic practices of college male athletes have on women, and through these comparisons to El burlador de Sevilla, I emphasize how even the smallest or quickest uncomfortable interaction can traumatize a woman for years.

Sarah Gielink Navarra University
Piece title: Me & Her
Inspired by or based on: La vida es sueño byCalderón, Rosaura by Teatro Inverso
Monty Almoro, co-writer

Video art

Link to piece: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1_rRJ4sEdAQTZowzCQen5ngr3PsFUn3B8/view?ts=62b095c3

I first wrote this piece more than 3 years ago, roughly a year before the pandemic hit the United States. With all that has changed since then, globally and personally, when I sat down with this text this week to create this submission, I realized I see it differently than I used to. “Growing” means something different. Self-acceptance too. Neither is linear and these concepts bend and stretch based on the contexts we find them in. Even though my context– in my little corner of the world and in the world itself– is nothing like what it was when I first wrote this, the core of it, of navigating social roles and identity, still stays with me and makes me reflect.

Yazarei Bazaldua & Yesica Amaya Texas Tech University
Piece title: El coloquio de los perros – Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
Inspired by: El coloquio de los perros – Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra Video Art Link to piece: https://youtu.be/UqhwIdYKDBg

This piece is inspired by the story El coloquio de los perros written by Miguel de Cervantes. Because the original story is based in Seville, Spain we decided to film using various locations at our University, Texas Tech’s architecture has Spanish influence making it perfect to create the environment we wanted to present. In the portion of the story that we chose to interpret, there is a focus on the idea of double standards. The idea of double standards is something that can be seen anywhere, in our film we chose to interpret how a teacher can influence their students, whether they “practice what they preach” outside of the classroom or not. We chose to have dog actors for two reasons: first, the original story is of two dogs sharing dialogue and second, because they can better convey a sense of innocence. Along with an innocent perspective to taking in the world around them, the dogs serve as spectators to all parts of life. This piece was created as a form of reflection to remind us not to judge a book by its cover, and instead, to be open to the world that surrounds us.

Katherine DiJulius
Ohio Wesleyan University
Piece title: “De Despedidas y Nuevos Comienzos”
Inspired by or based on: La dama boba
Video Art

Link to piece: https://youtu.be/QqncdQf3ZlI

This piece is inspired by the character Nise, from the play “La dama boba,” written by Lope de Vega. The original play follows the story of two sisters, Finea and Nise, as they navigate love and class in their society. Finea has been arranged to marry Liseo by her father, however, Liseo laments the idea of marrying her because she is described to be ignorant and stupid. Consequently, he wants to woo and marry her sister, Nise, as she is described by others as elegant and intelligent. On the other hand, Nise shows no interest in Liseo because she is in love with Laurencio. Yet, Laurencio decides to break off his relationship with Nise and chooses to pursue Finea, on the account that Finea has a larger dowry. Eventually, even though Nise is shown throughout the play to be uninterested in marrying Liseo, the ending has the couples pair off (Finea with Laurencio and Nise with Liseo) and are assumed to be happily married.
In this version of the story, Nise is given the opportunity to confront her own feelings and thoughts following the events of the play and share her reactions to the expectations put upon her to marry. This opportunity is imagined through the form of a letter left behind after Nise decides to leave her family and escape her marriage to Liseo, and her interactions with the world around her as she processes the events of the play. The inclusion of the images of Nise as she interacts with nature around her is meant to display a sense of physicality, that she is part of the world around her and does not solely exist to meet the expectations put upon her by others. These images of nature demonstrate how the world around us simply just exists to be, which contrasts with the human anxieties that Nise confronts throughout the piece regarding expectation and identity. However, Nise’s final message is not just simply directed at Otavio or Finea, or even just simply the other characters of the play. As audience members, we have also been complicit in the events of the play, allowing Otavio, Nise’s father, to determine her future without consulting her in the matter. Considering this fact, the monologue is meant to be aimed at all those who watch the piece; since we have all been complicit, her message is for us all.
Finally, it is important to note that I have purposefully left her future ambiguous. Obviously, the decision to leave her life behind in order to find herself is one that has its consequences, and trying to determine one’s own identity and reconcile with one’s own being is a task that confounds us all during our lives and is always left unanswered. Yet, through Nise, I wanted to make a statement that we can, and we should, question the structures in place throughout our lives that try to determine for us who we are, how we should exist. Therefore, this adaptation serves as a commentary on existence, expectation and identity, and the complex process by which we try to understand these concepts for ourselves.

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SPECIAL MENTIONS

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Kiley Elizabeth Herlihy, Alyeska Grace Reimer & Jensen Bee
Syracuse University
Piece title: La investigación de Fuenteovejuna Link to piece: https://youtu.be/OtoMqLdDrN0 Inspired by or based on: Fuenteovejuna by Lope de Vega
Video/Podcast

During the Spanish Golden Age of the 16th and 17th century, the Spanish playwright Lope de Vega wrote the drama that was Fuenteovejuna, an account based on a historical incident that took place in the town of Fuenteovejuna in the late 15th century. In a drama centered around a Commander who used his position of power over the town in order to terrorize its inhabitants and take advantage of women, it characterized the different gender roles and expectations that existed in that point in time, which particularly disadvantaged women. This project is a modern reinterpretation of Fuenteovejuna which follows a curious interviewer from the 21st century in her quest to search for ancestral answers regarding her lineage. In the format of an investigative documentary, this digital project connects a contemporary audience to an early modern source in order to involve them in the discovery of the secrets and the truths of the town of Fuenteovejuna.

Olivia Bastin St Andrews Univerity, Scotland
Piece title: Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder
Link to piece: https://youtube.com/watch?v=uCcDAjwaojg&feature=share
Inspired by or based on: Don Quijote Video/Visual Arts

Having read Don Quijote by Miguel de Cervantes, I was intrigued by two characters in particular. Those characters were Don Quijote himself and Dulcinea. My favourite passage was when Sancho Panza convinced Don Quijote that one of the ugly country girls was Dulcinea and Don Quijote had to rescue her from this enchantment she had been put under! My art piece is inspired by double appearances and how beauty essentially is in the eye of the beholder. The piece will play with the binary of beauty and ugliness to draw on ideas of beauty standards and how appearances can be deceptive.

Kathleen Berger
Arizona State University
Piece title: “Amor, enseñame”
Link to piece: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4WLZQpNxDE0
Inspired by or based on: Discurso de Lisarda de “El muerto disimulado,” de Ángela de Azevedo.
Kathleen Berger, soprano/author, Joshua Vern, composer.
Music video

Profesora María José Dominguez’s class, Foundational Texts of Spain, introduced me to the works of Ángela de Azevedo. As a classical singer, I was fascinated by how operatic her dramas are, and was inspired to collaborate with a composer friend to update the language of one of her monologues and set it to music.

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FINALISTS

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Izzy Dailey Ohio Wesleyan University
Piece title: El Perro Del Hortelano: La confrontación
Link to piece: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1j_AW5U5h-IUajiDzwPflTyT1z5TljIOS/view
Inspired by or based on: El perro del hortelano
Video

La confrontación is an animated short based off of the 1618 Lope de Vega play El Perro Del Hortelano. The short puts us right in the middle of a confrontation of a complicated love triangle. Teodoro (a secretary) is originally in love with the maid Marcela, however when Diana, the Countess of Belflor (their boss) starts to show interest, Teodoro opts for trying to marry her instead. Marcela, in reaction, decides to seduce Fabio (another servant). Diana quickly demonstrates that she would rather get married to one of her suitors than to Teodoro, so he goes to try and get back with Marcela. Diana despite having already shown disinterest in a marriage with Teodoro, reacts jealously and tries to force Marcela and Fabio to marry so that Teodoro won’t be able to marry her. Teodoro eventually can’t take it any more and reveals his frustrations to Diana. This short is a silly light-hearted animated version of a climactic conflict between the 3 characters (SPAN dub. / ENG sub.).v

N’Kiedra Nisbett
Arizona State University Piece title: Cervantes’s “El viejo celoso”
Link to piece: https://youtu.be/4F35yVpyg8o Inspired by or based on: Entremés “El viejo celoso,” by Miguel de Cervantes Short film
Se trata de una breve adaptación del “Entremés” de Miguel de Cervantes. Llamado “El Viejo Celoso”. Esta es la primera parte de la obra. En la obra, una joven llamada Doña Lorenza está casada con un viejo celoso llamado Canizares. Él la mantiene encerrada en la casa, pero finalmente puede hablar con su vecina y su sobrina. En el diálogo ella expresa lo que realmente siente por su esposo. El escenario del texto original es muy antiguo pero común. En mi adaptación, cambié el escenario y el lenguaje de la obra. En lugar de un matrimonio arreglado como está escrito en la obra original, incluí una reunión en línea con dos personas de dos lugares totalmente diferentes.

Jessa Nelson & Brooklynn Buck
Ohio Wesleyan University
Piece title: El Perro del Hortelano: Gossip Girl Edition
Link to piece: https://youtu.be/PeCbwvcntmQ
Inspired by or based on: El perro del hortelano
Video

This short film is inspired by Lope de Vega’s El Perro del Hortelano, which follows the love triangle of Countess Diana, her secretary Teodoro, and her maid Marcela. When Diana finds out about Marcela and Teodoro’s relationship she uses her power to win over Teodoro, however she cannot commit to him because of her honor.
The adapted film mimicks the modern day television series, Gossip Girl, where young teenagers use an anonymous blogger to exploit each other. In the television series, the characters are in high school and are competitive as they get with lovers, college offers, and more. In our adaptation, Diana will follow the footsteps of priveledged private school students and will compete with maid, Marcela, for the heart of Teodoro, the young heartbreaker of high school. Marcela learns that in this society of wealth and privledge being a gatekeeper, she will never win against these trust fund babies. This adaptation shows how honor and class are still very prominent today, but in a more materialistic and digital way.

Jonathan Li
Bowdoin College
Piece title: Trapped/Atrapado
Link to piece: https://bowdoin.ensemblevideo.com/Watch/t5K6Esi3
Inspired by or based on: El perro del hortelano
Video

This piece is inspired by the character Teodoro from the play El perro del hortelano by Lope de Vega. In the original story, Teodoro at the moment of speaking the monologue adapted in the video is trapped between two choices of potential spouses. One of them is Diana, whom he is not in love with, but she is high on the social ladder and has confessed her love to Teodoro; the other one is Diana’s maid, whom he has actually been in love with. In this version, I portray Teodoro’s situation from a modern-day queer perspective. Disappointed and irritated by Jonathan’s same-sex lover, Jonathan’s father reveals his secret of an apartment as a gift to Jonathan in an effort to make him “go down the right path” and marry a woman. Trapped between his love of life and the pressure and reward from his father, Jonathan proposes to Molly, only to find out that she realises she is not the one Jonathan loves. This storyline is based on Jonathan’s real-life relationship with his father. This piece aims to highlight the sadness of the social and familial pressure on queer people.

Ashley Arrien Arizona State University
Piece title: A new version of Calderon’s “La dama duende” Link to piece : https://youtube.com/shorts/yVOuUYiwRts?feature=share
Inspired by or based on: La Dama Duende, by Pedro Calderón de la Barca
Short film
From the original text (in Spanish) “La dama duende,” Act I, by Pedro Calderón de la Barca: DOÑA ÁNGELA

Bryan Nicholas Fletcher
Syracuse University
Piece title: Mujeres sin voces Link to piece: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fkY_kkCOTkw
Inspired by or based on: La fuerza de la sangre de Miguel de Cervantes
Video/ Online magazine

The main goal of this project was to take the storyline of Miguel de Cervantes’ novel, “La Fuerza de la Sangre,” and reproduce it in a modern setting and context. The novel follows the main character – Leocadia – after she meets the mysterious Rodolfo and is subjected to his abuse and violence. The novel covers many serious topics like sexual assault against women, which is still very relevant today despite how it has changed over time. To depict this reimagined story of Leocadia, I used my experience and skills in journalism to create a new potential magazine design. This design functions as the beginning of a realistic magazine, featuring a cover and full-page spread of photos and text information to display this story in a modern context. From there, I recorded a voice-over of the text to present this design in a video format.

PARTICIPANTS

Top left to right going down

Tess Meddings
Ohio Wesleyan University
Piece title: Un descubrimiento por amor

Link to piece: https://youtu.be/jRf_dwiep8w
Inspired by or based on: La dama boba
Video art: 3:48 minutes Short film
Un descubrimiento por amor is a conceptual video montage created from stock footage and edited together to emphasize the message of the monologue from which it was inspired. This monologue was adapted from “Finea’s Monologue, “Act 3, Scene 1, from La dama boba by Lope de Vega where Finea describes how her love for Laurencio has allowed her to learn and grow. In this adaptation, in order to represent Finea as a 21st-century feminist with a more progressive perspective on how her relationship has influenced her growth and knowledge, Finea describes how her relationship with Laurencio. While it has given her the opportunity for new experiences, she insists that their relationship cannot be credited for her transformation because she chose to learn and grow through her experiences, and she continues to allow her love to motivate her through her journey as an intelligent, independent woman.

Adele Metres
Bowdoin College
Piece title: Tengo menos libertad

Link to piece: https://bowdoin.ensemblevideo.com/Watch/Ea53Jze8
Inspired by or based on: La vida es sueño
In my video, titled “Tengo menos libertad,” I use the words of Segismundo’s monologue in the play “La Vida es Sueño,” written by Pedro Calderón de la Barca. In his monologue, Segismundo describes how he is trapped emotionally and physically in a tower. His poetic words illuminate the injustice of how even though he is a human with a soul and free will, he still has less freedom than wild animals. Additionally, the theme of not knowing what is reality and a what is a dream is the backdrop of the entire monologue. In my video, I connect the theme of feeling trapped with the situation of coronavirus, and especially the feelings of entrapment and sadness when someone tests positive and has to isolate away from their community. Although the monologue is more dramatic than most people experience coronavirus isolation, applying the monologue in this way helps us to better understand its themes in a modern context. For the video, I filmed clips in various parts of the Bowdoin College campus in Brunswick, Maine, and near the ocean at the Schiller Coastal Studies Center. I also used the Hubbard academic building to film videos that seem like they are in a tower.

Sam Al Badeh
Ohio Wesleyan University
Piece title: Castigo de Marcelo

Link to piece: https://youtu.be/gWUwPcs8RTc
Inspired by or based on: El perro del hortelano
This is an adaptation of a scene from Lope de Vega’s “El Perro del Hortelano.” The scene from which the inspiration was found involves Diana, Teodoro, Marcela, and La Dorotea as Diana finally sees for herself that they have been having a scandalous love affair in her home. It has been evolved to give a new perspective to Marcela (Now Marcelo) and explore how two male lovers would be treated in a similar situation. Marcelo and Teodoro are secret lovers afraid of the wrath of their boss Diana. When she discovers their love she punishes Marcelo by locking him in a room. Teodoro disappears before the countess can punish him. After Marcelo is locked away he contemplates his role in Diana’s life.

Nicole Alvarado, Olivia Guenzel & Karrington Ewell
Ohio Wesleyan University
Piece title: El secreto de Finea y Laurencio

Link to piece: https://youtu.be/WuUR3lwA6Pk
Inspired by or based on: La dama boba
This piece is inspired by the characters, Finea and Laurencio, from the play “La Dama Boba ” by Lope De Vega. “La Dama Boba” is based on two sisters that are both looking for marriage and happen to fall in love with the same man. One sister is smart and pretty while the other is dumb with a dowry. At the end of the play, only one of the sisters can end up with the main man which leaves the other sister to marry someone else. Finea is the sister with the dowry and the main character in the play. She is seen as La Dama Boba and isn’t taken seriously. Through the idea of marriage, Finea falls in love and educates herself. She later becomes very intelligent and plays with people to get what she wants, which is love. In this version of the play Finea and Laurencio are high school students, they want to keep their relationship low key but Finea’s best friend Claudia was jealous and started to tell people at the school. Finea and Laurencio come up with a plan to pretend to act dumb and like they don’t like each other in order to keep their relationship personal and low key.

Kaeli Evins
Ohio Wesleyan University
Piece title: Love and Honor (Amor y Honor)

Link to piece: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cbu3iwr95lk
Inspired by or based on: El perro del hortelano
This short film is inspired by the character Diana from the play “Perro del Hortelano” written by Lope de Vega. In “Perro del Hortelano,” Countess Diana plays a woman in a position of power in the 17th century. Throughout the play, the audience is shown that Diana is starting to grow jealous of one of her servants, Marcela, who has become involved with Diana’s secretary, Teodoro. Although she secretly loves Teodoro, Diana cannot express her true feelings because she struggles with her sense of honour and being with someone who is not in the same social class as herself. Only when she is aroused by jealousy is when Diana is only able to show her love and interest towards Teodoro, but at the expense of Marcela. This film is a rendition of a scene taken from the play where Countess Diana discovers that Marcela and Teodoro are together. However, in this take, it is the 21st century and Diana still holds a position of power, but she is a black woman. Now chief of surgery, Diana has to discipline new residents Marcela and Teodoro for getting caught in the supply room making out. This piece is specifically based off of the switch in generation of the time along with the change of race in the main character. How would Diana be perceived if she was not Caucasian, but Black? Would the audience give her the same benefit of doubt and understanding? Or would she be judged more harshly for her actions? This scene provides a quick glimpse into this new role and Diana’s inner feelings and emotions are exposed. Confused about her new interest in Teodoro, yet still traumatized from a toxic ex, Diana must sort through her desire for love, demand for respect, and longing to protect herself all while flourishing in her new position of power as a Black woman.

Lori Hashasian
Bowdoin College
Piece title : Los chicos serán chicos/Boys will be boys

Link to piece : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-EHVU9vC9NQ
Inspired by or based on: El burlador de Sevilla
This piece takes parts from monologues of Don Juan and Tisbea in El burlador de Sevilla by Tirso de Molina, and places the two characters in a conversation. I explore modern understandings of masculinity through the theme of “boys will be boys,” which pervades the pop culture. I specifically drew inspiration from a Dua Lipa song called “Boys Will Be Boys.” Rather than involve male actors, I centred the video on the female experience and juxtaposed it with the words of Don Juan. I chose to film a woman getting ready since much of modern discourse about sexual violence revolves around a woman’s appearance. Women feel pressured to comply with beauty standards in order to be taken seriously, but these same standards are used by men as excuses to harass them. I made the mirror a recurring object throughout the video to explore the difference in how a woman perceives herself and how a man like Don Juan perceives her. I included black and white flashback scenes to show women living their daily lives, unbothered by male attention. I decided to mostly keep the original text to show that ideals of masculinity have not changed much since the 17th century.

Meghan Edwards
Ohio Wesleyan University
Piece title: De Amor y Amistad / Of Love and Friendship

Link to piece: https://youtu.be/RlwZk6KgH3w
Inspired by or based on: La dama boba
This monologue is written from the perspective of Clara, the handmaid of Finea from La Dama Boba, (“The Silly Lady”) a comedy by Lope de Vega. In the original play, Clara’s character receives only minimal development; she appears to be almost as silly as Finea, and has a parallel love story in that she falls in love with Pedro, the manservant of Finea’s primary love interest. In this monologue, Clara is reimagined as not only Finea’s servant, but also her best friend. The piece makes the assumption that Clara and Finea both pretended to be unintelligent in order to manipulate the men around them– Lope’s original heavily implies this to be the case for Finea, but does not extend the same consideration to Clara. In the video, Clara feels betrayed by her friend, who has given up the act to marry Laurencio, abandoning Clara to her life in the lower classes. It is a piece ultimately about the choices that money provides Finea, and how she chooses to pursue her own best interest (marrying a respectable man and joining society) rather than sticking by her friend who has protected and cared for her for many years. While contemporary U.S. society does not have the same kind of servant-heiress relationships as in Lope’s time, it is nonetheless a country stratified by socioeconomic class, and economic mobility has declined in recent decades. The conflict in this monologue, the conflict between the relatively privileged and the friends they often leave behind, is both as present and as ignored today as it was in the time of Lope.

Lorie Futrell
Arizona State University

Piece title : The Student’s Revenge/ La venganza del estudiante Inspired by or based on: Entremés “La cueva de Salamanca” by Miguel de Cervantes Link to piece: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y78RLWhQIsgVideo Art This monologue is based on lines spoken by the character of The University Student in the Entremes “The Cave of Salamanca” by Cervantes. Everyone thinks that he’s a witch, a practitioner of the Dark Arts. He’s really just an ordinary person with incredible observation skills and wit. He’s one of the few people who realize that the mistress of the house he’s boarding at is having an affair and he takes it upon himself to teach his hosts a few lessons. I tried to let his perceived darkness and mystery shine through, especially how he used their own fears and prejudices against them. The student isn’t a magical being with terrifying powers at all–just a really clever guy who knows how to prey upon the innermost weakness of the human psyche–a talent that could be used for good or for ill. (And maybe that’s what’s really scary.)

Danielle Simon
Bowdoin College
Piece title: The Student’s Life is a Dream

Link to piece: https://bowdoin.ensemblevideo.com/Watch/Pm6t8K4Z
Inspired by or based on: La vida es sueño
In “The Student’s Life is a Dream,” the admissions officer is hesitant to admit Segismundo due to prejudices about Segismundo’s background, just Basilio, in La vida es Sueño, believes Segismundo is unfit to be king due to events outside of Segismundo’s control. The factors that cause the admissions officer to be wary of Segismundo are intentionally vague to encompass themes of discrimination by race, social class, religion, and other forms of discrimination students face. Upon acceptance, Segismundo adopts the view that college-educated people are of a higher status than blue-collar workers, just as in La vida es Sueño Segismundo has no respect for his servants and becomes a ruthless king. This is not intended to convey that students from minority backgrounds in particular look down upon adults who did not attend college, but instead aims to draw attention to the issue that many privileged students hold these prejudices. However, at the end of both La vida es Sueño and “The Student’s Life is a Dream,” Segismundo realizes his actions were wrong and changes his behavior. I hope that this video will help viewers recognize and fight their own prejudices as well.

Kaitlyn Brunner
Bowdoin College
Piece title: Segismundo’s Revolution

Link to piece: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zxzZnBDwFE
Inspired by or based on: La vida es sueño
This piece is based on Calderon’s play La vida es sueño. Fragments of dialogue were taken from the play as well as Segismundo’s famous monologue. These elements were combined with original narration to form a story of a working-class man (Segismundo) upset with the conditions that life has given him and the power and corruption of the world. This piece centres around the main theme of illusion versus reality, and the dream-like state of the world we are all navigating. This video is also inspired by the movie The Matrix with the wardrobe of Segismundo that resembles that of the movie’s main character, Neo. Additionally, there is also a scene with the “creators” of this world, using dialogue from Calderon’s work, which reflects a similar plot point in The Matrix. In this piece Segismundo illustrates his anger toward the world and the uncontrollable conditions in his life that have led him to his current state, making a commentary on the impact of socioeconomic class in today’s modern world. This piece ends with Segismundo leading a revolution with the knowledge that everything is a dream in this life and using that to uplift others.

Haley Pero
Ohio Wesleyan University
Piece title: El vuelo de Marcela

Link to piece: https://youtu.be/05-oNLfQG0Q
Inspired by or based on: El perro del hortelano
Video: 3:16 minutes
This monologue is adapted from Lope de Vega’s El Perro del Hortelano. This play features characters Diana, a power-hungry noblewoman, Marcela, Diana’s maid, and Teodoro, Marcela’s lover lured to Diana through wealth and power. Throughout the play, there is a struggle between Marcela and Diana over who will end up with Teodoro, although he eventually married Diana by pretending to be a nobleman. The monologue was originally recited by Teodoro on pages 95 and 96 of the text. Originally, Teodoro is heard expressing his despair over his problems with Diana. He is annoyed that Diana keeps rejecting him, so he dismisses all women as fickle and terrible creatures, but decides to settle for a relationship with Marcela, because they are of the same social class. This monologue adapts to Marcela, with a play on the words of Teodoro. Marcela uses feminist ideas to state that she has been used by both Teodoro and Diana for too long and she will not take it any longer. Marcela states that she herself is enough, and she does not need a man to be complete. She also encourages other women to adopt the same ideals. By flipping the language in the monologue, this scene is giving the power in the playback to Marcela. As a visual element, Marcela is seen putting on her makeup. She is doing so to empower herself, not for the benefit of Teodoro. At the end of the scene, Marcela is seen striking a flexed arm pose in the mirror. This is a feminist allusion to Rosie the Riveter, an icon to women’s strength and power. This pose is not only symbolic of Marcela’s power in the play but as a feminist woman as well.

Clara Tunny
Bowdoin College
Piece title: What does it mean to have agency

Link to piece: https://bowdoin.ensemblevideo.com/Watch/w4R7Beg6
Inspired by or based on: El si de las niñas
Video
My video is titled, “What does it mean to have agency,” and is a reworking of “El Sí de las niñas,” written by Leandro Fernández de Moratín in 1805. My adaptation focuses on the mother-daughter dynamic between Irene and Francisca, specifically with regard to their discussions about Francisca’s quest for love. My goal was to show how, over time, these conversations have transformed from being initiated and entirely controlled by the parental figures to opening up the space and allowing the children to advocate for their own desires. The inclusion of the poem stanzas serves to bring back a traditional element of the play, which had long monologues that were very poetic by nature. The stanzas give the watcher a look into what the daughter is thinking and allows the daughter to reflect on the ways in which she exercises agency over the politics and romantics of her own life. The video is also in contention with the antiquated principle of arranged marriage, alternatively echoing the daughter’s voice as she brings her own questions to her mother, seeking advice. I argue that when advice is sought out instead of unwarranted and overwhelming, it is much more likely to resonate with the recipient, especially when it comes to such delicate relationships as those between a parent and child.

Cera Linnell
Ohio Wesleyan University
Piece title: Lope de Vega Tells All

Link to piece: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mN_pdToLVPI&t=9s
Inspired by or based on: La dama boba
Video: 3:49 minutes
This piece is inspired by “La Dama Boba” by Lope de Vega. In the play, there are two beautiful sisters, Finea and Nise. Finea is the older sister, however, she is very ignorant, while Nise is super intelligent. Through the power of her love for Laurencio Finea starts to change into a more intelligent woman. In the piece, Finea is not ignorant, but rather she is intentionally acting ignorant to scare off potential suitors so that she can be with her real love, Clara her maid. She meets a noble who also has a secret relationship with his manservant, and together they come up with a plan for them to be with the people they love without persecution.

Thomas McGeever
Arizona State University
Piece title: Rap “La dama duende”

Link to piece: https://youtu.be/tIvirPjJ32k
Inspired by or based on: La Dama Duende, by Pedro Calderón de la Barca / Hamilton / Lin Manuel Miranda
Format (5 minutes max): music song
How did you hear about us?: Mentor
Tell us more about your creation (200 words max.): En mi interpretación personal de “La dama duende” por Pedro Calderón de la Barca, he optado por realizar un rap al estilo de Lin Manuel Miranda. Utilicé a Hamilton como inspiración para esta pieza. Estoy usando las primeras líneas de Don Manuel en el tercer acto. Lo llevan a los aposentos de Ángela… Oh, Damn, not fine. No one’s got bad luck like mine. I just got back, This is so whack The darkness of my mind. Received again, a message filled with fright Be brave my friend Our passions rend Please come to me tonight. There are more, what’s this? Depart under darkness To graveyard park my friends are parked They’ll help us in our tryst My girl is true, I had to follow through It was a fight To move at night I knew what I must do I crept I snuck Got by on only luck I got there yo, where tombstones go Her boys sat in their truck We drove no lights the tunnels dark at night They got me to, her best friend’s room Her neighbour to the right. The back, her yard We hopped the metal bars Silent now if her brothers rouse They’ll beat me into tar. The window is wide The closet hide inside Be patient son, you’ll soon have fun These girls, I love my life!

Nicole Alvarado, Olivia Guenzel, Karrington Ewell Ohio Wesleyan University El secreto de Finea y Laurencio
Link to piece: https://youtu.be/WuUR3lwA6Pk Based on: La dama boba Creative team (if applicable):

This piece is inspired by the characters, Finea and Laurencio, from the play “La Dama Boba ” by Lope De Vega. “La Dama Boba” is based on two sisters that are both looking for marriage and happen to fall in love with the same man. One sister is smart and pretty while the other is dumb with a dowry. At the end of the play, only one of the sisters can end up with the main man which leaves the other sister to marry someone else. Finea is the sister with the dowry and the main character in the play. She is seen as La Dama Boba and isn’t taken seriously. Through the idea of marriage, Finea falls in love and educates herself. She later becomes very intelligent and plays with people to get what she wants, which is love. In this version of the play Finea and Laurencio are high school students, they want to keep their relationship low key but Finea’s best friend Claudia was jealous and started to tell people at the school. Finea and Laurencio come up with a plan to pretend to act dumb and like they don’t like each other in order to keep their relationship personal and low key.

Jessie Jacobsen Wah
Arizona State University
Piece title: “Silly Men”

Link to piece: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CEAsJsdXr_Q
Inspired by or based on: “Hombres necios que acusáis” por Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz
Video – Spoken word
This piece was created as a final project for a class titled Understanding Spain: Literature and Culture: the objective was to modernize a text from an author, poet, etc. from the lectures. I chose Sor Juana because her works are already read as modern, and her wit and humour jump off of the page. She refused to conform to the standards that society created for her, and she remains a constant inspiration to me.

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