Postwar theater

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Postwar theater


Civil War comes a new political system: the Franco regime, characterized: in domestic politics by a strong repression, economic policy of autarky and government intervention and the economy, cultural policy for the purification of intellectuals and lack of freedom, and foreign policy alignment with fascism.

In 1943 Spanish Franco declared neutrality in World War II, and 46 U.S., Britain and France declare illegitimate the Franco regime, ratified by the UN. It takes place an economic blockade. The failure of economic policy making imposed significant changes will also affect literary production.

These 40 years can be divided into two stages:

Since the war until 57: characterized by the new state organization, persecution purges, etc. From 56 onwards: characterized by a degree of liberalization, a certain freedom of information. From the 75, year in which democracy is consolidating a new political regime and takes place the insertion of Spain in the other European democracies.

The theater scene in the immediate postwar Spain is rather poor. Censorship was a difficult obstacle to repay.

In cinemas continued triumph of traditional theater and evasions: the high comedy or comedy benventina.

In the late 40's beginning to emerge that social attitudes are reflected in the realistic and existential drama of the mid-50s.

In the 60s and early 70s, are experimenting with new theatrical forms.

Following the death of Franco, democracy arrives at the scene, and the authors banned or muted fall freely in the theaters.


Playwright IN EXILE:

After the war, the dramatists of the Republican had to take exile. With them they took the stage to Latin America where they continued their dramatic renovation work before 36. This is the case of Max Aub. and Casona.


The representatives of the Spanish high comedy of recent years continued in the dramatic line before the war started. We write an eminently bourgeois theater that persists for a long time and enjoys great public success. Among the key features of this type of theater credits include:

  • Attaches particular importance to the work well done.

  • It is a drama of manners, whose main character is the middle class.

  • It's a theater of fun, with lots of humor.

  • Besides the humor works of great success, there are also dramas or dramas thesis posed serious moral problems or conscience.

  • Ideologically, gives primacy to the spiritual values on the moral.

  • Despite the number of works that were written during this period, the most notable characteristic is its thematic monotony.


José María Pemán, Juan Ignacio Luca de Tena, Claudio de la Torre, Joaquín Calvo Sotelo, José López Rubio and Edgar Neville.

THEATRE humorous

Miguel Enrique Mihura Jardiel Poncela and break into the Spanish theater for the sole purpose of renewing the laughter. Tired already of the slapstick humor and easy, offer a new way of interpreting reality. Critics have seen in his work an intellectual humor, next to the comedy of the absurd. Implausible situations and dialogues governed by a logic bit stream are the main features of a comedy in interviewing certain amount of bitterness. The theater is to be understood not simply as fun, but as a critique of Spanish society and all its conventions.

Miguel Mihura: he began writing before the war, but its recognition was delayed because only regularly released from the 50s. His first work was "three hats", which develops the theme of freedom gained and lost.

The mood is Mihura ridicule the characters and actions of immediate reality, since the satire is imposed on the humor.


Antonio Buero Vallejo and Alfonso Sastre mark two milestones in social and political drama of postwar Spanish. Moved by their instinct of rebellion, show their dissatisfaction with the existing system through his writings. There are two ways to understand the protest politics, in the case of Sastre, social, in the case of Buero Vallejo. Themes, styles and different dramatic come together in a cry of rebellion.

There is also a theater playwrights who write reflecting social concerns, similar to that of Buero or Sastre, but whose works are often not represented. The authors marginalized cinemas.


The realistic drama of reality takes the themes of their works. Social injustice, the exploitation of man, the living conditions of working people, poverty, etc. The characters are always the victims of a society that expresses its power through bureaucracy, religious superstition or the operator.

In front of the neat and careful language of comedy cockney official language appears direct, without euphemism, against peace and a happy ending of comedy violence are pink and frustration as a constant, with the intention of bearing witness to what Life offers and denounce and protest against social injustices.


José María Rodríguez Méndez, Carlos Muñiz, Laura Olmo Jose Martin Recuerda, Andres Ruiz.

Antonio Buero Vallejo: Vallejo when he releases "Historia de una escalera", begins a theater that goes in search of truth and intends to remove the Spanish consciousness.

Critics have classified his work:

Symbolist Theatre: with "In the fiery darkness."

Social criticism Theatre: with "Historia de una escalera", "Today is a holiday" and "Skylight."

Historical Dramas: with "A dreamer of a people", "Las Meninas" and "The Sleep of Reason."

Most of the characters in Vallejo have any physical or mental defect.


For Ramón Ruiz, theater unrealistic this time has the following characteristics:

  • The internal destruction of the character.

  • The action and language are parabolic.

  • The scene is invaded by objects.

To this must be added the idea of theater as a collective show in which some of Europe's dramatic proposals, such as happenings, absurd theater, theater of provocation, and so on. Inside the theater unrealistic detail the following sections: hermetic theater, experimental theater and the theater itself is questioning the theater.

Hermetic Theater: the best examples are José Ruibal, Antonio Martínez Ballesteros and Manuel Martínez Mediero.

Experimental theater: it is proposed to search for new forms of theater experience with the resources available to the actor. The result may be from the very absence of a text to be recited in the tables to the ruling addressed the audience, in order to incorporate the show. Authors: Fernando Arrabal, Luis Matilla, Jeronimo Lopez Mozo, Diego Salvador.

Teatro post in question: during the seventies a number of playwrights write plays in which arises the identity of theater, the validity or otherwise of representation in the way it was traditionally understood, and present alternatives. We discuss below the most prominent representatives in this trend: Francisco Nieva, Luis Riaza, José Martín Elizondo, Hermogenes Sainz, Miguel Romero East.


Dispersion of trends, fall in the forefront and return to the traditional approach.


José Sanchis Sinisterra, José Luis Alonso de Santos, Fermin Cabal, Fernando Fernan Gomez.


In the late sixties and throughout the seventies is profiled in Spanish society, the emergence of a group of playwrights and "companies" who rebel against the commercial theater triumphs in the scene. Write and represent a different theater.

In addition, employers continue without wanting to risk the tables up works, which target the minority, are not economically profitable. The only way out for young entrepreneurs to create their own companies (independent theater.) In the late seventies and throughout the eighties, the state of theater in Spain improved significantly.

In 1975 there were about 150 non-commercial theater groups, included under different headings: amateur theater, chamber theater, experimental theater university theater and independent. These groups have the following characteristics:

  • Rejection of single sitting.

  • The code aims to be the "expression" of the group.

  • Struggle to find a work unit and ideological consciousness and aesthetics that defines as a group.

  • Do not agree to work for one type of audience.

  • They do not accept the rules of commercial theater that holds them to represent in the same space, at a certain price and a few hours agreed.

  • They have an organization sufficient to enable them to select, test and mount the work at various locations.

  • Conduct seminars and research work on the stage experience.

The most prominent groups are: Joglars, Los Goliardos, horsefly, The Pitchers, Lebrijano Studio Theatre, Teatro Universitario de Murcia, Teatro Border Comediants Els and La Fura del Baus.

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