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Poetics and Theatre

2, 4 February 2010
Image of the Lecture

Ana Diosdado, as seen by Luciano García Lorenzo


Ana Diosdado, like some other Spanish actors and actresses of the last decades, was born in America, specifically in Buenos Aires, in 1938. Ana always wanted to become an actress -her parents were actors, and Margarita Xirgu was her godmother- and it is in the theatre and television where she has developed most of her acting career. It will always remain in the memory of the audience her participation in several series where she was also the author (Anillos de oro, Segunda enseñanza,…) . Series, on the other hand, which are probably among the best productions of Televisión Española in the decade of the 1980's.

As novelist and theatrical adapter (Ibsen, Tennessee Williams, Peter Ustinov, Oscar Wilde…), Ana has written and premiered more than a dozen texts, but it is probably her first theatre premiere in 1970 Olvida los tambores, also written by her, the most memorable among the theatrical enthusiasts. Already years ago, we pointed out that this work attempted to be the testimony of part of the Spanish youth during a very special time. A time when they were presented to the world by having a certain attitude, some acting with coherence and authenticity as code of conduct, some with deception, ambition and selfishness, applying a double moral and lack of ethical awareness. In line with this, the play presents six pictures of six characters attempting to show each of them a differentiated attitude, following the intensity of what would be expected from Antonio Buero Vallejo, especially in his early works. After all, master Buero has always been a well-known and admired reference of the author.

Ana Diosdado is considered, and of course we agree, one of the most important female writers of Spanish literature in the last decades, and is an unavoidable reference when addressing the history of the most recent Spanish theatre having the woman as the protagonist of stage writing. We could also mention other relevant names that have later joined Ana Diosdado in this group, and whose works we may have read, although it is more difficult that we may have gotten to see in the scenarios along the years.

Fortunately, not few scholars have studied these texts, and many pages have been devoted to their staging, mainly by hispanists, but also by the Spanish university world. One of these persons is Virtudes Serrano, a key figure to understand feminine dramaturgy on the current century, and last third of the previous one. Simply due to the economy of words, we prefer to cite an explicit paragraph from this scholar: "In all of this scenario, there are people focused on the creation of texts using realistic construction formulas; while others originating in the 90's decade, prefer aesthetics with more poetic freedom, rupture and abstraction. In general, it is possible to observe how they tend to express dissatisfaction caused by the lack of ideals; the hostility and solitary confinement, the fear and violence that affect human relationships; all diseases of an unfair society. In recent years we see attempts to recover the closest historical memory, and particularly, the memory of women, famous or not, who lived on these times. The most recent political and social turmoils have fostered an "urgency" theatre against war, terrorism, xenophobia, home violence, topics not exclusive to feminine dramaturgy, but which are commonly present in women's theatrical work or alternative format shows". And Professor Serrano highlights  something which is very true: the use by these women writers of theatrical forms like monologues and short stories, as well as works of collective creativity. These are women names writing theatre that currently can be found repeated in different spaces. Theatrical authors with a very different view on the theatrical act itself; from Paloma Pedrero to Angélica Lidell, and other young woman writers; whose work is based chronologically and with unquestionable goodness, on the theatrical work of Ana Diosdado.

Fundación Juan March
Castelló, 77 – 28006 MADRID – Spain
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