An oasis for those who love classic stories. Los Angeles Times

LA Escena 2020

Nov 12-16, 2020

LA Escena 2020 (English)





Join us for the second edition of Los Angeles’ Festival of Hispanic classical theater, now in a largely virtual mode.

Presenting Hispanic classics, from inventive productions of the original texts to translations and adaptations inspired by the Golden Age.

When you RSVP, links for each day of LA Escena will be sent to you the evening before. 

If you need a last-minute link or technical support, please contact us here.

For the UCLA conference on “Resituating the Comedia” that accompanies the festival, please click here.


Finjamos que soy feliz | 12 NOV – 5PM PST

Presented by Teatro Clásico MX & Caracoles Teatro | Mexico City (Mexico)
Spanish (with English subtitles)

Tania and Oscar, the main characters on this voyage, must adapt their acting style to explore this complex text, which takes the powerful figure of sor Juana Inés de la Cruz as its starting point as it considers feminism, inclusivity, and the impediments to free thought, which the Mexican nun defended so passionately in her own time. 

Learn more about Finjamos que soy feliz

Don Carlos: Prince of Asturias | 13 NOV – 4PM PST

Presented by Oscar Emmanuel Fabela | Los Angeles (United States)
English (no Spanish subtitles)

Don Carlos was heir to the Spanish throne after the most powerful king in Spain, King Phillip II, but Carlos’ unusual physique and personality, as well as his ostensible sexual deviance, made him unfit to rule in the eyes of an intolerant Spain. Don Carlos was seen as different and therefore immoral, thus the Royal Court would stop at nothing to ensure that Don Carlos never ruled the mighty, pure, and golden kingdom of Spain. Even his father, King Phillip II, would go to extremes in attempts to erase Don Carlos from history. Will Don Carlos fight for what is right, or succumb to his own eradication?

Learn more about Don Carlos: Prince of Asturias

Golden Tongues I: The King of Maricopa County | 13 NOV – 6PM PST

Presented by Playwrights’ Arena | Los Angeles (United States)
English (no Spanish subtitles)

The King of Maricopa County, by Mary Lyon Kamitaki, is an adaptation of Lope de Vega’s El castigo sin venganza (Punishment without Revenge). In present day Arizona, near the border with Mexico, the politically conservative sheriff is up for reelection. His daughter from a previous marriage and his new wife are brought together by destiny: a car collision far out in the Arizona desert, in the middle of a thunderstorm. Their forbidden love, discovered by the vengeful sheriff, sets in motion a tragic series of events that shows the horrific consequences of power run mad.

Learn more about Golden Tongues I: The King of Maricopa County

Quijotes y Sanchos | 14 NOV – 10AM PST

Presented by [los números imaginarios] & Bella Betalla | Madrid (Spain)
Choice of Spanish or English audio experience

Quijotes y Sanchos is a self-guided tour of Los Angeles. The experience begins at home, as participants receive their instructions through the free online messaging application TELEGRAM. We invite you to see your own space through the eyes of Don Quijote and Sancho, to relive the events of the novel, and to cross the city as though it were the Spain of 1604… or the Tokyo of the late 20th century. Quijotes y Sanchos turns your place and your city into the backdrop, you into the protagonist, and the rest of the world into the ideal cast for your journey. We will get you ready to walk a new world, and to become someone else for a morning. You will decide on your own route, your own personal and intimate wandering through Los Angeles. 

Learn more about Quijotes y Sanchos

Quijóteres Puppet Show | 14 NOV – 1PM PST | Available on Demand

Presented by Dragoncillo Puppet Troupe | United States
Bilingual and accessible to Spanish and English speaking patrons

¡Quijóteres! is a bilingual puppet theatre adaptation of Cervantes’ classic novel that aims to introduce young audiences, regardless of their familiarity with Spanish or the Golden Age, to the comic adventures and themes of Don Quijote. Featuring “muppet-style” puppets on a unique, multi-functional traveling puppet stage, the show takes advantage of its imaginative puppet setting to emphasize the novel’s intensely comical depictions of the ridiculous, with all of the clashes and crashes, valor and vomit, that have distinguished Don Quijote as the quintessential funny book for more than four centuries. 

Learn more about Quijóteres Puppet Show

Y es mayor dolor la ausencia que la muerte | 14 NOV – 2PM PST

Presented by grumelot | Madrid (Spain)

Spanish (with English subtitles)

Grumelot presents a virtual experience that reflects on what it means to be free while in seclusion, and to achieve our most intimate connections at a distance. This piece, designed for digital platforms, starts from the texts of Sor Juana, that “Tenth Muse” of Mexico, who sought out seclusion for the sake of intellectual freedom, and places them in conversation with 12 female artists as they experience their own isolation during the Great Lockdown of 2020 in Spain.

Learn more about Y es mayor dolor la ausencia que la muerte

Golden Tongues II: The Woodingle Puppet Show | 14 NOV – 6PM PST

Presented by Playwrights’ Arena | Los Angeles (United States)
English (no Spanish subtitles)

Julie Taiwo Oni’s riff on Miguel de Cervantes’ Retablo de las maravillas (The Marvelous Puppet Show) reimagines the anxieties around social and cultural belonging in the space of a rapidly gentrifying South LA. In The Woodingle Puppet Show with Host Mr. C, as Constructed by Mr. Asinine with Calculations and Articulations of the Genius Sort, Oni explores questions of Blackness, and the hoops people are willing to jump through to prove that they are “black enough.”

Learn more about Golden Tongues II: The Woodingle Puppet Show

Quijotes y Sanchos | 15 NOV – 10AM PST

Presented by [los números imaginarios] & Bella Betalla | Madrid (Spain)
Choice of Spanish or English audio experience

Learn more about Quijotes y Sanchos

Canciones de Olmedo | 15 NOV – 3PM PST

Presented by Jóvenes Clásicos & Teatro del Soho Caixa Bank | Málaga (Spain)
Spanish (with English subtitles)

Canciones de Olmedo is a musical adaptation into concert form of Lope de Vega’s famous play The Knight of Olmedo. Our company, Jóvenes Clásicos, paints with language, just like a painter uses paint on canvas—our goal is to paint a scene for the audience’s delight. Our point of departure is the musicality of the verse, inherited from the epic verse and troubadour poetry of the Middle Ages. The Knight of Olmedo, composed in the 1620’s and widely regarded as Lope’s masterpiece, was actually inspired by a popular song, which describes the death of a knight: “They killed him by night, the pride of Medina, the flower of Olmedo.” We offer you Canciones de Olmedo as a reminiscence of the flavor of Lope’s poetry—a melancholy, nostalgic song to love and the end of love.

Learn more about Canciones de Olmedo

Golden Tongues III: What We Pay For Likes | 15 NOV – 6PM PST

Presented by Playwrights’ Arena | Los Angeles (United States)
English (no Spanish subtitles)

Inda Craig-Galván’s What We Pay For Likes transports the squabbling, reputation-obsessed aristocrats of Madrid from Juan Ruiz de Alarcón’s Los empeños de un engaño (translated by Diversifying the Classics as What We Owe Our Lies) to a Calabasas populated by influencers whose lives revolve around their brands and social media views. When a handsome stranger comes to town, their relationships IRL turn out to be much more complicated than their polished profiles suggest. 

This event does not permit late entry. Patrons must enter the Zoom meeting/waiting room by the performance start time.

Learn more about Golden Tongues III: What We Pay For Likes

The Courage to Right a Woman’s Wrongs | 16 NOV – 4:30PM PST

Presented by Red Bull Theater | New York (United States)
English (no Spanish subtitles)

One of the Spanish Golden Age’s most accomplished female playwrights, Ana Caro, presents a witty critique of society through the story of Leonor, a woman who sets out to find her one-time lover (Don Juan, naturally) and bring him to justice. The Courage to Right a Woman’s Wrongs is a comedy of wild intrigue and lively ingenuity in which Leonor crosses geographical boundaries and defies social expectations of gender in order to bring her fickle lover to justice and restore her lost honor.

Special thanks to our sponsors:

UCLA Arts Initiative
UCLA Humanities Division
UCLA Center for 17th- and 18th-Century Studies
UCLA Department of Spanish & Portuguese
UCLA Department of English


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