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Comedia Performance

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Caridad Svich, Lope De Vega (1562-1635), Spanish drama -- Classical period -- Translations into English


Women’s equality, cross dressing, homoerotic desire—all the makings of a twenty-firstcentury comedy—were the focus of a seventeenth century play by Lope de Vega, La prueba de los ingenios (1612?-1613?). In the last two decades, interest in this work has increased considerably. Evidence of the rising popularity of the play is an English-language adaptation by Caridad Svich, which she titled The Labyrinth of Desire. The professional production at Miracle Theatre is the focus of this study. After a brief discussion of the homoerotic theme of the work and general issues of the translation and/or adaptation of the Comedia, I will then examine some of the specific changes Svich made to Lope’s original work in her adaptation and will use my class of students as a type of case study of the reactions to the modernization of a seventeenth-century work.

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