Institut Ramon LLull

Resources & Services


29/11/2018. Catalan and Balearic contemporary circus acts primed for LEME Festival in Ílhavo (Portugal)
The city of Ílhavo will stage the second edition of LEME, the Contemporary Circus Festival, o...
21/11/2018. Mal Pelo performs at the Montreal Agora de la danse
Directed by Pep Ramis and María Muñoz and with support from the Institut Ramon Llull, ...
28/08/2018. Artists selected for new Catalonian & Balearic Residency Programme
Dulce Duca, Cia. PakiPaya,  Collectivo Terzo Livello and Cia. Pau Palaus ...
Performing arts

Contemporary Catalan playwriting

Catalan playwriting is in a better state than ever before: never have so many playwrights been regularly present on the country’s theatre sections of the what’s on pages and never have they been acclaimed by critics and audiences as notably as now. The flowering of Catalan playwrights in the last 20 years is a phenomenon that positions Catalan playwriting among the most interesting and diverse in Europe. The work of the Sala Beckett, a small theatre in Barcelona, has been decisive in this respect. More or less associated with this theatre’s training or exhibition sections, we can mention playwrights Enric Nolla, David Plana, Guillem Clua, Esteve Soler, Pau Miró, Victoria Szpunberg, Mercè Sarrias, Josep Maria Miró o Jordi Casanovas, although the list could be much longer.

Els jugadors de Pau Miró (Font ACN)
Els jugadors, de Pau Miró (font ACN)

Catalandrama, an online database of Catalan dramatic texts by living authors translated into other languages, has become a key instrument for the international dissemination of Catalan playwriting, as it makes available to programmers and publishers all over the world a good sample of the drama that is written in Catalonia. This initiative of the Sala Beckett, in collaboration with the Institut Ramon Llull, was set up in 2009.

The structure of Catalan theatre has had other ways of channelling the country’s drama, like the Sala Tantarantana (Barcelona), the Teatre de Ponent (Granollers), the Festival Temporada Alta (Girona), the Teatre Lliure (Barcelona), la SalaFlyHard (Barcelona) or the Versus Teatre (Barcelona), and also private production companies like Focus, without forgetting the T6 programme of the T6 del Teatre Nacional de Catalunya. NImportant names in contemporary Catalan theatre aimed at general audiences, like Carol López, Marc Rosich, Albert Espinosa, Pere Riera o Jordi Galceran, complete and diversify the names emerging from the Beckett.

However, to understand the present success, the formative role of playwright José Sanchis Sinisterra, is fundamental; he led the theatre company El Teatro Fronterizo, the origins of what was to become the Sala Beckett. From those playwriting workshops of the late 1970s and early 1980s a first generation of playwrights emerged like Sergi Belbel, Lluïsa Cunillé, Manel Dueso, Josep Pere Peyró or Carles Batlle, who little by little began to establish complicities with a new audience, sensitive to the aesthetics coming after the failure of great Utopian dreams. As creators they are very different from one another but they have in common, apart from the teaching of Sanchis, international points of reference like Pinter, Koltès or Pina Bausch.

Burundanga de Jordi Galceran (Font ACN)
Burundanga, de Jordi Galceran (font ACN)

It was they who began a revolution on the theatre scene, which would have as its aim the normalization of Catalan playwriting on the country’s what’s on pages.

These deficiencies, now resolved, arose in large part from the fact that creative Catalan theatre emerging after Franco’s dictatorship (1939-1975) was based on gestural theatre, expressly non-text-based, which took Living Theatre as a clear point of reference and centred on performance in the street or open spaces. This performing-arts current became so strongly installed in Catalonia that some of the companies emerging in the mid-1970s are still internationally significant today, like Els Joglars, Els Comediants or La Fura dels Baus.

The first signs of the resumption of writing for the theatre had appeared thanks to the tenacity of Josep Maria Benet i Jornet, who spent a very long time in the wilderness for Catalan playwriting. Benet, whose early works were first performed at the beginning of the 1960s, is the writer who acted as a bridge between the tradition prior to the Spanish Civil War, with Àngel Guimerà, Josep Maria de Sagarra, Ignasi Iglésias, Juli Vallmitjana and Josep Pous i Pagès and the generations emerging from the initiatives of the 1980s, to whom we have referred.

Josep Maria Benet i Jornet (Font ACN)
Josep Maria Benet i Jornet (font ACN)

Catalan playwriting is in a better state than ever before: never have so many playwrights been regularly present on the country's theatre sections of the what's on pages.

Contra la democràcia d'Esteve Soler (Font ACN)
Contra la democràcia, d'Esteve Soler (font ACN)

Catalandrama, an online database of Catalan dramatic texts by living authors translated into other languages, has become a key instrument for the international dissemination of Catalan playwriting

Boys don't cry de Victòria Spunzberg (Font ACN)
Boys don't cry, de Victòria Spunzberg (font ACN)
Pàtria de Jordi Casanovas (Font ACN)
Pàtria, de Jordi Casanovas (font ACN)

Sponsors of IRL projects

The Institut Ramon Llull

is a consortium that comprises the Generalitat de Catalunya (Government of Catalonia), Balearic Islands Government and the Barcelona City Council, and its mission is the promotion of Catalan language and culture abroad.

Generalitat de CatalunyaGovern Illes BalearsAjuntament de Barcelona

This website uses its own and third party cookies to offer better browsing. By browsing in it the user agrees to the way we use cookies. Users can prevent cookies from being generated and erase them by using the options on their browser. Blocking cookies may mean that some of this website’s services and options do not work properly.

Cookies are small pieces of data that websites send to browsers and which are stored in users’ devices: computers, mobile telephones, tablets, and so on. Their purpose is to improve the experience of using the website, as these archives make it possible for the website to remember information about the user’s visits, such as preferred options or language. In this way the website personalizes its content and becomes more agile and useful for the user.

By browsing this website users agree to cookies being installed in their equipment that enable us to find out the following information:

Types of cookies

This website uses session, or temporary, cookies and persistent cookies. Session cookies merely keep data while the user is visiting the website. Persistent cookies store the data on the device’s hard drive so that it will be accessible in more than one session.

Depending on the type of data obtained the website can use technical cookies.

These allow users to browse the webpage and use the different options or services it contains. For example, controlling data traffic and communication, identifying the session, entering restricted access areas, requesting enrolment or participation in an event, using security features while browsing and storing content.

Personalization cookies.

These allow users to access the website with some general characteristics that are either already predefined in their hard drive or defined by the user. For example, the language, the type of browser used to access the website, the chosen content design, the geo-location of the device or the regional configuration from where access takes place.

Statistical analysis cookies

These make it possible to monitor and analyse the behaviour of visitors to the website. The information gathered is used to measure a website’s activity and to produce users’ browsing history, making it possible to improve the service.

Third party cookies

Third party cookies that manage and improve the services offered can also be installed. For example, statistics services like Google Analytics.

Managing the cookies in my browser

Users can allow, block or erase the cookies installed in their device by configuring the browsing options.

If the use of cookies in the browser is blocked, some services or functions of the webpage may not be available