The Maury A. Bromsen Lecture in Latin American History and Culture 2013

April 24, 2013 - 5:30pm

José A. Rodríguez Garrido Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú and Tinker Visiting Professor in Comparative Literature at the University of Chicago (Spring 2013). "Classical Myth on Stage: Theater from Imperial Propaganda to Creole Project in Colonial Lima."

MacMillan Reading Room, John Carter Brown Library. Free and open to the public. Reception to follow.

From the last decades of the seventeenth century through the first half of the eighteenth, a group of spectacular plays based on Classical mythology was performed in the Viceregal Palace of Lima, Peru. In format, these plays followed characteristics of court theater in Europe whose purpose was to exalt monarchical power. In transferring this dramatic model to Lima, the viceroy sponsored these spectacles to serve as political propaganda. However, as I argue in this lecture, although the organization of court theater was initially controlled by the colonial power structure, the Creole elite soon began to appropriate performances for their own political aspirations. I will be examining plays written in Spain and performed in Lima (such as La púrpura de la rosa by Calderón de la Barca), as well as plays written by Peruvian Creoles (such as Triunfos de amor y poder by Peralta y Barnuevo).