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3 Masterpieces of Cuban Drama: Plays by Julio Matas, Carlos Felipe, and Virgilio Piñera
Green Integer Series No.: 70
Beginning in the 1930s and continuing through the 1950s, a succession of dramatic groups appeared in Havana, introducing select Cuban audiences to the artistic trends that had been revolutionizing the European stage since the turn to the Twentieth Century. From this dynamic theater movement emerged several firstrate playwrights among whom stand out Julio Matas, Carlos Felipe, and Virgilio Piñera, included here. As a director, Matas was the first to stage Eugène lonesco's theater in Havana. Matas's play "El extravío" ("Deviations"
) had its première, in both Spanish and English, in Miami in 1993, and was later presented in Costa Rica as part of the annual Festival of the Arts. Felipe's "The Chinaman" was written in 1947, and was staged in Havana that same year. It was awarded first prize of the competition sponsored by the Academia de Artes Dramáticas. The third play, "An Empty Shoebox," by renowned Cuban writer Virgilio Piñera (author of, among other works, the novel La carne de René [René's Flesh] and the collection of tales Cuentos Fríos [Cold Tales]), was written in 1968 and was sent clandestinely by the author to Luis González-Gruz, who published an annotated edition of the play in Spanish in 1986. Together, these plays represent some of the most outstanding and broad-ranging theater traditions in Cuba before and after the Revolution.