The past four decades have been an exciting time for the Catalan stage. Barcelona has come into its own as a vibrant international theatre capital, and theatrical offerings in Catalonia are richer and more diverse than ever before. The process of recuperation, relegitimization and institutionalization of Catalan theatrical life that began during the period of transition from dictatorship to democracy has reached an impressive state of fruition and maturity. The situation is all the more astonishing when viewed in light of an historical context replete with political and economic constraints that have threatened to overwhelm and submerge, time and again, the language, cultural life and intellectual spirit of this autonomous community. The Spanish political landscape continues to be inhabited by the retrograde ghosts of Francoism, and, as recently as September 2012, the central government delivered a crippling blow to theatres throughout Spain when it abruptly increased the VAT rate from 8 to 21%. To be sure, the Catalan stage has made enormous strides and continues to survive –even thrive– despite, and not because of, the aforementioned difficulties, which by any European standard are far from advantageous.

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Copyright © 2014 IT: In Transit. This article first appeared in IT: In Transit 24 (February 27, 2014).

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