New Perspectives Theater Company presents COUNT PARTINAPULES as part of its ON HER SHOULDERS programming

On Her Shoulders will present a virtual reading of El Conde Partinuplés (circa 1640) by Ana Caro, translated by Hardley Eardman, and directed by Lynn Marie Macy, via NPTC’s YouTube channel: NewPerspectivesTC. Melody Brooks offers dramaturgy via The Play in Context, which situates the script in its historical time and place.

The broadcast begins at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday October 23 and will be available until midnight on October 27, 2021.

Admission is by donation. Register on Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/182910027817.

ANA MARÍA CARO DE MALLEN was born between 1590 and 1600 and is one of the first professional women writers in Europe, as there are records of payments made to her for specific pieces. Her year of birth is unknown as she was a Moorish slave (child of parents forcibly converted to Christianity from Islam) and was probably 9 or 10 years old when she was adopted by Gabriel Caro de Mallén and his wife Ana María de Torres. Her adoptive family was important; they were hereditary advisers to the court and thus were able to give Caro a first-class education and an elite lifestyle regardless of her beginnings. With a few exceptions, de Mallén published only under the name Ana Caro; her first book of poetry and some “relaciones” (commentaries on major public events considered a precursor of journalism) were published in Seville in 1628. She then moved to Madrid and established her reputation as a renowned writer. Many of his male counterparts, including Juan de Matos Fragoso and Luis Vélez de Guevara, praised his works. Caro was also a close friend of novelist Maria de Zaya. El conde partinuplés (Count Partinapulé) and Valor, agravio y mujer (The courage to right a woman’s wrongs) are the only two full-length pieces by Caro that are still known today. She died of the plague in November 1646 and was buried in Seville.

COUNT PARTINAPULES was written around 1640; it was first printed in 1653 after Caro’s death. The script uses an “invisible mistress” plot as a parody (and subversion) of some elements of the typical “murder of woman” drama popular at the time. The screenplay is part of the tradition of Spanish comedy – one of the defining characteristics of the legendary Golden Age of Spanish Literature – which arose out of the more improvised Commedia dell’Arte, but it was about more works artistically rigorous. The play is further classified as a comedia de apariencias or a “play of appearances”, a genre calling for magical events and special effects.

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