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Title: Performing gender on the English-language stage : Tirso de Molina's 'comedia urbana'
Author: Grunnah, Sarah Anne
ISNI:       0000 0004 8507 1624
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2019
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This study analyses gender in three of Tirso de Molina's comedias urbanas and their subsequent performances on the modern, English-language stage. Using case studies of three particular Tirso productions from the past decade, I argue that the plays invite a queer reading when tested on the modern stage. To do so, my study involves a seamless consideration of the three aspects of live performance: the play texts, performances, and their subsequent reception. My introduction opens with a discussion of gender and sex in seventeenth-century Spain, as well as the staging of gender in the comedia in the original period. I ultimately argue that Spain's performance practices and its attitude towards gender queered spectatorship and-paradoxically-both empowered and objectified female performers. In chapter 1, I propose a tripartite analysis of gender in the comedia that involves textual study, an analysis of how gender is embodied and performed by actors through choices of casting and characterisation, and a consideration of how gender is decoded and read by spectators. I discuss how the modern theatre grapples with the staging of gender, particularly focusing on Shakespeare performance as a model, as well as modern Spanish- and English-language productions of comedias. Chapters 2 through 4 offer case study examples from modern productions of three Tirso plays: Marta la piadosa, El amor médico, and La celosa de sí misma. In each chapter, I consider both the original Spanish play text and its subsequent performance on the modern English-language stage, analysing two aspects of each play: first, the dramaturgy, which offers on the surface a largely heteronormative message through its rigidly structured narrative but which is ultimately subversive; and second, the plays' characters, who exhibit queer potential, either through their cross-dressing, their ambiguous gender, or their hyperbolic gender performance.
Supervisor: Thacker, Jonathan Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Theatre ; Spanish Golden Age drama