Throughout the colonial era, the drama flourished, representing the success of Lope de Vega, Tirso de Molina and Calderon de la Barca in Spain. The chief cities had theatres in which the varied fortunes of their mines represented the luxury of trappings and the abundance of offerings. Potosi had a theatre at the height of its prosperity, which rivalled the most pretentious in Spain. In their palaces, the viceroys of Mexico and Lima built private theatres. As several others published in America, the plays of the Spanish masters were staged, most of which have since been forgotten by Iong. Do you want to learn more? Click Boynton Beach School of Music, Dance & Drama-Guitar Lessons.
Religious allegories, extensively Spanish in culture and built to express the reality of the gospel to unlettered Indians, were the most common early dramas. In conveying the lessons of creation and redemption, as well as the record of Spain’s glory, their pageantry and colour were effective. To create a hybrid folk drama in which Indian dances and music were overlaid with Christian and Spanish storeys, Indian pageantry was amalgamated with the Spanish. To this day, a Mexican tourist will see Indian festivals in which the ancient war between Christians and Moors is re-enacted, with a lot of heroic posturing, fireworks crackling, and the despised Moors’ final destruction.
If the traveller asks an Indian about the identity of the Moors, whom he belabours so assiduously, he gets no straight response.
Dramatists were created in Spanish America, but few were more than pale imitators of the Spanish immortals. Mexico boasted GonzaIez de Eslava in the sixteenth century, whose allegorical comedies were so plain, straightforward, and well-constructed as to offer a brief distinction to the Mexican stage. For his perceived insults to a pompous pomp, GonzaIez is remembered
Juan Ruiz de Alarcon, who left Mexico at twenty, studied in Salamanca, returned briefly to his native country, and spent most of his life in Spain, was the sole Spanish American dramatist to gain international acclaim. Tortured by the jeering of the peninsulars, Alarcon, a Creole hunchback, wrote sensitively and beautifully, and his twenty-three plays gave him a firm place in el siglo de oro among Spanish men of letters.