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" The Cat " (C) 1989
" The Cat "
© 1989

" The Woman "  (C) 1989
" The Woman "
© 1989

" The Devil "
© 1989

" The Phantom "
© 1989

" Phantasmagoric Boar " (C) 1989
" The Boar "
© 1989

   The title of this play by Antonio Buero-Vallejo, one of Spain's most significent 20th century playwrights, is taken from one of the best-known etchings of the 18th century Spanish artist, Francisco de Goya, called "The Dream of Reason Produces Monsters." After the first production of this play in Madrid in 1970, its translation into other languages established the international reputation of the writer, who had turned to theatre after six years of imprisonment for support of the Republican cause during the Spanish Civil War.

   The play is set in 1823, when the deaf and aging Goya has covered the walls of his country retreat with his "Black Paintings," and is living under the threat of physical abuse and even death from the repressive forces of the autocratic Ferdinand VII.

" Soldiers "
© 1989

   Buero's play explodes traditional dramatic conventions because it merges and confuses visual and aural, verbal and nonverbal elements to a degree where painting, music, movement, masks, and scenography create a "total theatre" in which it becomes difficult to separate vision from reality, dream from madness, or fear from desire.

   This production, translated into English by Marion Peter Holt, was directed by Tere Quintanilla, and produced by No Encontramos, Diverse Works, and Chocolate Bayou Theater, with a support from the Cultural Arts Council of Houston, the Southwestern Bell Foundation, and the Consulate General of Spain. Sets were designed by Greg Roach, music composed by Jeff Darling, and dramaturgy by Johannes Birringer. The terrifying masks were designed and created by Patricia Jane St. John-Danko and Max Pruñeda.

Excerpted from the Playbill and from William Albright,
 " Dark, silent genius of Goya makes for unsettling theather ",
The Houston Post, February 21, 1989.

All masks
designed and constructed
of mixed media, in collaboration by
P. J. St. John Danko
Max Pruñeda.

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