Spanish Stage Designers to Present Lecture on Spanish Classical Theater at A&M International

Two professional scene designers from Spain will provide a rare opportunity for students and the community to gain insight into Spanish Classical Theater during a lecture scheduled Friday, Feb. 22 at 1 p.m. in Texas A&M International University's Center for the Study of Western Hemispheric Trade, room 116.

Admission is free of charge and open to the public.

Juan Sanz-Ballesteros and Miguel Angel Cosio Marín, who are also known for their restoration of the famous Teatro Cervantes de Alcalá y Henares, built in 1602, will present a lecture titled, "Contemporary Staging for Spanish Theater of the Golden Age."

The free lecture, in Spanish, is organized by the A&M International department of language and literature and the Spanish Club.

Sanz-Ballesteros and Cosio Marín will visit Laredo before attending the Association of Hispanic Classical Theater Conference and Chamizal Theater Festival in El Paso in March, where both will be the keynote speakers.

Dr. Ezra Engling, A&M International professor of Spanish and event coordinator, said the lecture would serve as a valuable resource for those wishing to learn about Spanish Golden Age, or classical, literature.

"This literature from the 16th and 17th centuries represents Spain's best, and features major writers such as Miguel de Cervantes, Garcilaso de la Vega, Lope de Vega, Tirso de Molina and Pedro Calderón de la Barca. In Europe, the idea of theater began in pagan festivals and liturgical scenes at church. Later, it developed into itinerant presentations at inns and plazas throughout the major cities," Dr. Engling explained, "So great was the demand for this popular form of entertainment that permanent public theaters were erected. Sophisticated machinery and effects were also written for the court theaters as playwrights came under the patronage of the monarchs of the time."

Everyone involved in theater, including teachers or those studying Spanish culture will benefit from attending this event, Engling said.

"The number of Spanish Golden Age texts required for the Advanced Placement (AP) exams in high schools has been dramatically increased, so AP teachers would definitely benefit, and students of Spanish will also be exposed to the Spanish accent and the peculiarities of the language."

The presentation also serves as a bridge between the present and past and could assist those who are interested in staging a scene from a Spanish Golden Age play, Engling said.

"Both presenters are scene designers, so they could be a source of information for creative, low budget, but effective presentations of plays within and without the classical tradition," he said.

For further information, please contact Dr. Engling at 326-2648, e-mail or visit offices located in the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library, room 418B.

University office hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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