The Catalan stage is presently experiencing one of the most exciting, dynamic, and extraordinary periods in its modern history. Following decades of contentiousness, there is finally a harmonious rapport between the visually oriented theater of images and the textually oriented theater of the word, between the theater of collective creation and that in which the role of the author is essential. On the whole, the theater of contemporary Catalonia is characterized, not by the provincialism often ascribed to regional minority cultures, but rather by its cosmopolitan, international, and even transnational proclivities. Barcelona, the cultural and political hub of this region, aspires to become a European theater capital, often looking toward London, Paris, Berlin, or Milan in search of new artistic paradigms. Correspondingly, the most innovative segments of the Barcelona theater scene are unceasingly engaged in an artistic dialogue with international theater traditions of both past and present. Performances in Catalan as well as original-language versions of works by Beckett, Bernard, Brecht, Chehov, Kushner, Mamet, Moliere, Pinter, and Shakespeare are now routine occurrences throughout the season and, as recent statistics attest, these theater events are well attended. During 1997, the number of spectators who visited forty-two different performance venues in the city of Barcelona increased by eleven percent, peaking at 1,903,610 (Sese).
Copyright © 1998 Estreño. This article first appeared in Estreño 24, no. 2 (Fall 1998): 2-4.
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Feldman, Sharon G. "Homage to Catalan Theater: Introduction." Estreño 24, no. 2 (Fall 1998): 2-4.