Faculty Scholarly Dissemination Grants


Four Decades of the Chamizal Siglo de Oro Drama Festival and the Evolution of Comedia Performance


Modern Languages & Literatures Department


College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Date Range



Arts and Humanities


As the longest-running festival dedicated to Golden Age performance to date, the evolution of the Chamizal National Memorials annual Siglo de Oro Drama Festival emerges as a study of Comedia adaptation in microcosm, one that reflects shifting performance trends across the world and illustrates the Comedias remarkable flexibility for twentieth- and twenty-first-century audiences. Perhaps the most significant developments manifest themselves in the contrast between the works produced by professional theater companies and those produced by university groups, particularly in the way each adheres to or strays from period conventions of performance. While the festival does a great deal for the Comedia by promoting a healthy and dialogue between these differing artistic camps to the benefit of academia and the community at large, few people appreciate the tremendous obstacles from both within and without the organization that each year threaten to put an end to future of the gathering. This paper will identify key developments in Chamizals four-decade history that speak to the flexibility and appeal of the Comedia and the best practices of organizers past but also suggest what todays festivals collaborators might do to remedy present and future woes.

Conference Name

AHCT Symposium on Golden Age Theatre

Conference Location

El Paso, TX

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