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Emboldened by their success in the Spanish Civil War (1936–1939), Nationalist ideologues sought to revitalize the stagnant Spanish theater and promote values associated with the newly formed authoritarian regime. The memory and restaging of seventeenth-century comedias became a crucial part of this project that focused particularly on Lope de Vega's Fuente Ovejuna, a history play that dramatizes a village's fifteenth-century rebellion against a tyrannical overlord. The definitive performance of Fuente Ovejuna during the early years of Franco's dictatorship, a production directed by Cayetano Luca de Tena at the Teatro Español in 1944, represented the culmination of the right's struggle to regenerate the theater. By adopting a fascist aesthetic and reinforcing the regime's political legitimacy through history, Luca de Tena's production captured its contemporary moment and signaled a possible solution to the theatrical crisis, one that blended historiography, aesthetics, and politics.




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