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CHAMIZAL 2004 The 29th Siglo de Oro Drama Festival was held at the Chamizal National Memorial Auditorium (800 South San Marcial, El Paso, Texas 79905) from 26 to 29 February and from 3 to 7 March 2004. Unlike last year, when the tone of most works was grave and tragic, perchance on account ofthe imminent invasion ofIraq by the Coalition ofthe Willing, this year's tone was entirely comic, perhaps in anticipation of more peaceful times. The Festival presented works from the fifteenth, sixteenth , and seventeenth centuries, and included Spanish and Portuguese dramatists. Well represented were Gil Vicente, with four works, and Tirso de Molina, with two. Calderón, Moreto, and Cervantes had one work each. Other authors, mostly of entremeses, were Rodrigo de Cota, Lope de Vega, Francisco de Quevedo, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, Antonio de Solís, and Quiñones de Benavente. The nations honored this year were the U.S. (with three companies), Mexico (with two), Colombia, Spain, and Venezuela (with one each). The directors were Raquel Carrió and Lilliam Vega (Teatro Avante, Miami, Florida), Costa Palamides (Tearrela, Caracas, Venezuela), Alejandro González Puche (Corporación Teatro del Valle, Cali, Colombia), César Oliva (Compañía Andrés de Claramonte, Universidad de Murcia, Spain), Dean Zayas (University of Puerto Rico Traveling Theater, San Juan, Puerto Rico), Oscar Ulises Cancino (Escuela Nacional de Arte Teatral del INBA, Mexico City), Anne McNaughton (Andak Stage Company, North Hollywood, California), and José Luis Ibáñez (Compañía de Enamorados, México City). The commentators for the occasion were Dr. Susan Paun de García of Denison University and Dean Zayas ofthe University ofPuerto Rico. Starting this year, the Chamizal National Park has a new superintendent, Ms. Maria Isabel Montes, who replaced Mr. Cordell J. Roy. Ms. Virginia Ness 173 174BCom, Vol. 57, No. 1 (2005) remains as Arts Director and Mr. Paul Roney as Technical Staff Director. As usual, the Chamizal Siglo de Oro Drama Festival was an enjoyable, memorable, and utterly successful event. Raquel Carrió and Lilliam Vega's El vuelo de don Quijote, based on Miguel de Cervantes's 1605 and 1615 novels, is the second part ofa trilogy in which the pageant wagon is used as a stage for skits to delight children and adults alike. {The Fair ofDiscoveries, the first part, deals with the life of Galileo). It lasted one hour and 10 minutes and was truly a game of the imagination, as the directors indicated. Three actors played several characters: Jorge Hernández (Don Alonso/Don Quijote); Jacqueline Briceño (the Housekeeper and Sancho Panza); and Julio Rodriguez (the Priest, a Farmer, a Prisoner, a Puppeteer, and the Knight ofthe White Moon). El vuelo de don Quijote starts in extremas res, with Don Quijote—now Alonso Quijano—on his deathbed, which doubles as a puppet theater when the Knight ofthe Woeful Countenance reminisces about his adventures. In effect, Don Quixote's imagination, as well as the Priest and the Housekeeper's attempts to bring him back to a more prosaic reality, serve as the narrative—here dramatic—thread throughout the play. This Pirandello-like structure allowed the company to dramatize several important episodes from the novel, among them, the burning of Don Quijote's library, Sancho Panza's governorship of the Island Barataría, the thrashing of young Andrés (an incident that delighted the children in the audience), the battle of the windmills, the galley slaves, the puppet show ofMaese Pedro, Dulcinea, and the battle with the Knight ofthe White Moon. All three actors were superb and convincing in their portrayal of so many characters. Their few props were also effectively used (a stick served as a lance or even as the horse Rocinante) and enabled the actors to time the rhythm ofthe play effectively. It also made it possible for the audience members to use our imagination in the same manner as Don Quijote. The result was sheer theatrical magic. In addition to what I believe was a masterful theatrical production, the members of Teatro Avante seemed to be aware of some of the critical issues of the novel. The "Quixotization" of Sancho was effectively portrayed , as well as the almost...


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