Title

The Political Nature of Fernando Arrabal's Theatre of Panic

Academic Level at Time of Presentation

Senior

Major

Theatre

Minor

Creative Writing

2nd Student Academic Level at Time of Presentation

Senior

2nd Student Major

Spanish

List all Project Mentors & Advisor(s)

Ben Post and Tanya Romero-Gonzalez

Presentation Format

Oral Presentation

Abstract/Description

The Poliltical Nature of Fernando Arrabal’s Theatre of Panic

Abstract

While each individual author begins their writing journey with their own thematic intentions and interpretations, what truly defines an author is the way in which their works are interpreted by a larger audience. Such is the case with Fernando Arrabal, a Spanish playwright that was born in Melilla, a city in Spanish Morocco, during the early years of the Francoist regime. Arrabal, a co-creator of the theatre of panic movement, and critically acclaimed absurdist author is often quoted speaking in opposition of his status as a political voice in theatre. Arrabal, viewing his works as a savage statement in opposition of society’s rules and regulations, formulates his plays to disturb and disgust his viewers into speculation of the world around them. While Arrabal argues against his status as a political theatre influence, I argue that Arrabal’s plays are brimming with political ammunition. Using two of his plays written under Francoist rule, Guernica and And They Put Handcuffs on the Flowers, I make the argument that his life, choice of genre, and dramatic representations of historical events present his audiences with a strong political voice. Arrabal, having been so strongly affected by the political nature of his childhood and young adulthood, is unable to disassociate his life and experiences from his writing. This makes Guernica and And They Put Handcuffs on the Flowers political pieces that still highlight political offenses today, despite the objection of Arrabal.

Fall Scholars Week 2018 Event

GLT 400

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The Political Nature of Fernando Arrabal's Theatre of Panic

The Poliltical Nature of Fernando Arrabal’s Theatre of Panic

Abstract

While each individual author begins their writing journey with their own thematic intentions and interpretations, what truly defines an author is the way in which their works are interpreted by a larger audience. Such is the case with Fernando Arrabal, a Spanish playwright that was born in Melilla, a city in Spanish Morocco, during the early years of the Francoist regime. Arrabal, a co-creator of the theatre of panic movement, and critically acclaimed absurdist author is often quoted speaking in opposition of his status as a political voice in theatre. Arrabal, viewing his works as a savage statement in opposition of society’s rules and regulations, formulates his plays to disturb and disgust his viewers into speculation of the world around them. While Arrabal argues against his status as a political theatre influence, I argue that Arrabal’s plays are brimming with political ammunition. Using two of his plays written under Francoist rule, Guernica and And They Put Handcuffs on the Flowers, I make the argument that his life, choice of genre, and dramatic representations of historical events present his audiences with a strong political voice. Arrabal, having been so strongly affected by the political nature of his childhood and young adulthood, is unable to disassociate his life and experiences from his writing. This makes Guernica and And They Put Handcuffs on the Flowers political pieces that still highlight political offenses today, despite the objection of Arrabal.