Marissa Béjar

directora escénica, investigadora y docente auxiliar del Departamento de Artes Escénicas de la Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú

Dear colleagues,

Please find attached my working paper. I am also attaching the two plays -in Spanish- that I am working with.



Swords, Gloves and Everything in Between: Exploring Opposite Gender Physicality and Action Through Props and Costumes with Actors in Training

As a former participant of the working group “Vestida de” from ASTR 2014, I am very happy to submit my application for this year´s comedia working group Transgressions and Translations in Early Modern Spain. My experience from 2014 in sharing with colleagues our thoughts and opinions about how costumes define very much what is happening on stage with characters and dramatic action in the theater of the Golden Age Spain, left me very interested in exploring much further about various of the issues that in our work arouse, one of them being the gender and transgender multiple situations that these plays propose. From all the questions suggested in the working group call, I feel compelled to explore the ones related to the practice and production of these plays in our times. It is probably my director´s and teacher of acting self, the one that is curious about how much these “trans” moments, characters, and situations speak to us in nowadays. On the one hand, I am drawn not only to discuss contents and concepts, like the most obvious ones that talk about gender and sexual orientation, but also feel enthusiastic about the possibility of arguing that some of these characters claim for themselves freedom of gender mandates and gain agency by behaving and performing other selves they feel driven to discover, testing activities that are only reserved to the opposite gender. Moreover, these particularities that the characters choose to experiment, encourage me to investigate and elaborate about what else is being transgressed besides the most noticeable subject of gender. On the other hand, I would also like to research in which levels all the external things like objects, wardrobe, tools, etc. allow characters to carry and try their “trans” personas, and how much of a collaboration with the external things is happening between characters, their bodies and their intentions in trespassing biological boundaries in order to test other territories that do not belong to what social conventions expect and determine for them. Again, it is probably my predisposition to consider how these all can be decoded and solved by actors that need to make organic sense on stage of all what is happening to these characters. Even more, I am intrigued by how these particularities and situations can “translate” and communicate well with an audience that may still be thinking that Spanish plays of this period belong completely to another era and will not pose provoking matters and concerns that may converse with our Twenty First Century lives. Finally, I would like to express that I think the experience of a working group like this is complete with what all other participants have to say about the main issues that make us convene, and I will be beyond excited to hear about what everyone else has to say in these regards, If am privileged enough to be admitted.