Our New Gold 

2022 Festival

2022 Our New Gold Digital Storytelling Festival 

The second international edition of Our New Gold Digital Storytelling Festival (2022) was hosted by The Association for Hispanic Classical Theater (AHCT) and sponsored by Ohio Wesleyan University, MacEwan University & Xperteatro. Our New Gold 2022, features the work of students exploring new ways of approaching, understanding, and adapting Spanish classical plays focusing on current social issues (such as gender, racial and social inequality, systemic oppression, cultural identity and environment).

Read about the jury below.  



Wesley Rancher, Ohio Wesleyan UniversityPiece title: Ricardo’s mensajeInspired by: El perro del hortelanoShort film
This short story is a modern-day adaptation inspired by playwright Lope de Vega’s El perro del hortelano. The script has been translated from Spanish to English. Originally these confessions were from Marques Ricardo, a male character within the play and were directed towards Diana, the main female character, Diana. His goal was to get her to fall in love with him as he was obsessed with her. He would speak in a very grandiose tone because he felt self-important and that Diana would be a fool to fall in love with anyone else, especially someone that did hold the same elite status as himself. Diana was royalty and belonged to the high social class and this was the same case for Ricardo, therefore, he felt they were meant to be together. The change within this short story, however, is instead of these lines being directed to a person about how in love they are, the confessions are projected to the environment, nature, sustainability and the importance of protecting the natural world. This environmental representation is conveyed through drawings and cutouts and compiled into a stop motion animation.
Milsa Maúrtua, Salvador Pontificia Universidad Católica Peru & UCM Madrid, Spain. / Piece title: GUILTInspired by: La vida es sueño (Calderón de la Barca) / Created by and featuring Milsa Maúrtua. / Filmed by Alek Nieto Video Art.
This piece is inspired by the character of the shadow, from the passion play “La vida es sueño” written by Calderón de la Barca. In the passion play, Calderón refers to the divine commandment, free will, human identity, human dignity, sin, destruction, man as the true heir of the world, and the redemption of man among other subjects that refer to the relationship that exists between man and God (power). In this version, I refer to man’s awareness of guilt and his acceptance as something intrinsic. I see guilt as a social construct, a responsibility which does not always belong to us, but it is necessary to learn to live with it. During the writing of this piece, I took fragments of man’s monologue and intertwined them with my own original writing, denouncing certain aspects of our everyday life. I believe that we must be proud of our guilt in order to create. We will leave the apple turned into butterflies.
Elizabeth Sumoza & Wyatt Wells, Ohio Wesleyan University / Piece title: Laurencio and Liseo Exposed… /  Inspired by or based on: La dama boba / Short film
This piece is inspired by the characters of Finea and Nise from the play La Dama Boba by Lope de Vega. La Dama Boba follows the trials and tribulations of love and class, as sisters Finea and Nise are obligated as honourable women to find good potential matches for their husbands. Finea is portrayed as a helpless dumb airhead who has a large dowry while Nise is the book smart sister with a smaller dowry. Before the play starts, Laurencio has been in a relationship with Nise, but at the beginning of the play, he decides to pursue Finea for her larger dowry. Liseo has been arranged to marry Finea by her father but decides to pursue Nise because of Finea’s lack of intelligence. The play mostly follows Finea’s transformation from idiocy to intelligence-driven by her feelings of love, and it ends with her and Laurencio winning against the odds and marrying. In true comedia fashion, there cannot just be one wedding, so Nise and Liseo end up together as well, despite Nise’s statements in the play that she is only interested in Laurencio, and the play never showing how her perspective of Liseo changed. This video highlights Nise’s thought process, vlog style, as she considers the fact that the man she once loved no longer loves her, and that a man she is not interested in is pursuing her adamantly. We see Finea share her own opinion and instead of the sisters being put against each other, we see their support of each other. Then, instead of ending in comedia fashion, Nise does not get married and is instead allowed to make her own choice.
Katherine Page, Bowdoin CollegePiece title: Los burladores de Bowdoin College / Inspired by or based on: El burlador de Sevilla / Video Art                                           
This project makes the connection between Tirso de Molina’s Don Juan and mens’ college sports teams in the US. Like Don Juan preying on women for his own pleasure and entertainment, men’s sports teams on my campus encourage predatory behaviour toward women. I highlight this through the example of an annual men’s hockey Christmas party that deceptively invites certain women as “hook up” goals for the freshman male athletes. This event romanticizes and upholds the objectification of women; women who don’t get the invitation may feel unwanted and undesirable, and women who are invited may feel a sense of male validation and pits themselves against other women.
I use a Don Juan monologue from El burlador de Sevilla to mimic a hockey player’s drunken attempt to seduce their targeted woman, then follow the monologue with clips of myself, alone on campus, filled with uncomfortable thoughts and feelings that just won’t go away. I aim to center the long-lasting impact that toxic practices of college male athletes have on women, and through these comparisons to El burlador de Sevilla, I emphasize how even the smallest or quickest uncomfortable interaction can traumatize a woman for years.
Sarah Gielink, Navarra University / Piece title: Me & HerInspired by or based on: La vida es sueño byCalderón, Rosaura by Teatro Inverso / Monty Almoro, co-writer / Video art 
I first wrote this piece more than 3 years ago, roughly a year before the pandemic hit the United States. With all that has changed since then, globally and personally, when I sat down with this text this week to create this submission, I realized I see it differently than I used to. "Growing" means something different. Self-acceptance too. Neither is linear and these concepts bend and stretch based on the contexts we find them in. Even though my context-- in my little corner of the world and in the world itself-- is nothing like what it was when I first wrote this, the core of it, of navigating social roles and identity, still stays with me and makes me reflect.
Yazarei Bazaldua & Yesica Amaya, Texas Tech UniversityPiece title: El coloquio de los perros - Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra / Inspired by: El coloquio de los perros - Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra / Video Art 
This piece is inspired by the story El coloquio de los perros written by Miguel de Cervantes. Because the original story is based in Seville, Spain we decided to film using various locations at our University, Texas Tech’s architecture has Spanish influence making it perfect to create the environment we wanted to present. In the portion of the story that we chose to interpret, there is a focus on the idea of double standards. The idea of double standards is something that can be seen anywhere, in our film we chose to interpret how a teacher can influence their students, whether they “practice what they preach” outside of the classroom or not. We chose to have dog actors for two reasons: first, the original story is of two dogs sharing dialogue and second, because they can better convey a sense of innocence. Along with an innocent perspective to taking in the world around them, the dogs serve as spectators to all parts of life. This piece was created as a form of reflection to remind us not to judge a book by its cover, and instead, to be open to the world that surrounds us.
Katherine DiJulius, Ohio Wesleyan UniversityPiece title: "De Despedidas y Nuevos Comienzos"Inspired by or based on: La dama boba / Video Art
This piece is inspired by the character Nise, from the play "La dama boba," written by Lope de Vega. The original play follows the story of two sisters, Finea and Nise, as they navigate love and class in their society. Finea has been arranged to marry Liseo by her father, however, Liseo laments the idea of marrying her because she is described to be ignorant and stupid. Consequently, he wants to woo and marry her sister, Nise, as she is described by others as elegant and intelligent. On the other hand, Nise shows no interest in Liseo because she is in love with Laurencio. Yet, Laurencio decides to break off his relationship with Nise and chooses to pursue Finea, on the account that Finea has a larger dowry. Eventually, even though Nise is shown throughout the play to be uninterested in marrying Liseo, the ending has the couples pair off (Finea with Laurencio and Nise with Liseo) and are assumed to be happily married.In this version of the story, Nise is given the opportunity to confront her own feelings and thoughts following the events of the play and share her reactions to the expectations put upon her to marry. This opportunity is imagined through the form of a letter left behind after Nise decides to leave her family and escape her marriage to Liseo, and her interactions with the world around her as she processes the events of the play. The inclusion of the images of Nise as she interacts with nature around her is meant to display a sense of physicality, that she is part of the world around her and does not solely exist to meet the expectations put upon her by others. These images of nature demonstrate how the world around us simply just exists to be, which contrasts with the human anxieties that Nise confronts throughout the piece regarding expectation and identity. However, Nise's final message is not just simply directed at Otavio or Finea, or even just simply the other characters of the play. As audience members, we have also been complicit in the events of the play, allowing Otavio, Nise's father, to determine her future without consulting her in the matter. Considering this fact, the monologue is meant to be aimed at all those who watch the piece; since we have all been complicit, her message is for us all.Finally, it is important to note that I have purposefully left her future ambiguous. Obviously, the decision to leave her life behind in order to find herself is one that has its consequences, and trying to determine one's own identity and reconcile with one's own being is a task that confounds us all during our lives and is always left unanswered. Yet, through Nise, I wanted to make a statement that we can, and we should, question the structures in place throughout our lives that try to determine for us who we are, how we should exist. Therefore, this adaptation serves as a commentary on existence, expectation and identity, and the complex process by which we try to understand these concepts for ourselves.


Kiley Elizabeth Herlihy, Alyeska Grace Reimer & Jensen Bee, Syracuse UniversityPiece title: La investigación de Fuenteovejuna Inspired by or based on: Fuenteovejuna by Lope de Vega / Video/Podcast
During the Spanish Golden Age of the 16th and 17th century, the Spanish playwright Lope de Vega wrote the drama that was Fuenteovejuna, an account based on a historical incident that took place in the town of Fuenteovejuna in the late 15th century. In a drama centered around a Commander who used his position of power over the town in order to terrorize its inhabitants and take advantage of women, it characterized the different gender roles and expectations that existed in that point in time, which particularly disadvantaged women. This project is a modern reinterpretation of Fuenteovejuna which follows a curious interviewer from the 21st century in her quest to search for ancestral answers regarding her lineage. In the format of an investigative documentary, this digital project connects a contemporary audience to an early modern source in order to involve them in the discovery of the secrets and the truths of the town of Fuenteovejuna.
Olivia Bastin St Andrews Univerity, ScotlandPiece title: Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder / Inspired by or based on: Don Quijote Video/Visual Arts
Having read Don Quijote by Miguel de Cervantes, I was intrigued by two characters in particular. Those characters were Don Quijote himself and Dulcinea. My favourite passage was when Sancho Panza convinced Don Quijote that one of the ugly country girls was Dulcinea and Don Quijote had to rescue her from this enchantment she had been put under! My art piece is inspired by double appearances and how beauty essentially is in the eye of the beholder. The piece will play with the binary of beauty and ugliness to draw on ideas of beauty standards and how appearances can be deceptive.
Kathleen Berger, Arizona State UniversityPiece title: “Amor, enseñame”Inspired by or based on: Discurso de Lisarda de “El muerto disimulado,” de Ángela de Azevedo. Kathleen Berger, soprano/author, Joshua Vern, composer. / Music video
Profesora María José Dominguez’s class, Foundational Texts of Spain, introduced me to the works of Ángela de Azevedo. As a classical singer, I was fascinated by how operatic her dramas are, and was inspired to collaborate with a composer friend to update the language of one of her monologues and set it to music.


Bryan Nicholas Fletcher, Syracuse UniversityPiece title: Mujeres sin voces Link to piece: Inspired by or based on: La fuerza de la sangre de Miguel de CervantesVideo/ Online magazine
The main goal of this project was to take the storyline of Miguel de Cervantes’ novel, “La Fuerza de la Sangre,” and reproduce it in a modern setting and context. The novel follows the main character – Leocadia – after she meets the mysterious Rodolfo and is subjected to his abuse and violence. The novel covers many serious topics like sexual assault against women, which is still very relevant today despite how it has changed over time. To depict this reimagined story of Leocadia, I used my experience and skills in journalism to create a new potential magazine design. This design functions as the beginning of a realistic magazine, featuring a cover and full-page spread of photos and text information to display this story in a modern context. From there, I recorded a voice-over of the text to present this design in a video format.
Jonathan Li, Bowdoin CollegePiece title: Trapped/Atrapado Inspired by or based on: El perro del hortelano / Video
This piece is inspired by the character Teodoro from the play El perro del hortelano by Lope de Vega. In the original story, Teodoro at the moment of speaking the monologue adapted in the video is trapped between two choices of potential spouses. One of them is Diana, whom he is not in love with, but she is high on the social ladder and has confessed her love to Teodoro; the other one is Diana’s maid, whom he has actually been in love with. In this version, I portray Teodoro’s situation from a modern-day queer perspective. Disappointed and irritated by Jonathan’s same-sex lover, Jonathan’s father reveals his secret of an apartment as a gift to Jonathan in an effort to make him “go down the right path” and marry a woman. Trapped between his love of life and the pressure and reward from his father, Jonathan proposes to Molly, only to find out that she realises she is not the one Jonathan loves. This storyline is based on Jonathan’s real-life relationship with his father. This piece aims to highlight the sadness of the social and familial pressure on queer people.
Izzy Dailey Ohio Wesleyan UniversityPiece title: El Perro Del Hortelano: La confrontación / Inspired by or based on: El perro del hortelano / Video Art
La confrontación is an animated short based off of the 1618 Lope de Vega play El Perro Del Hortelano. The short puts us right in the middle of a confrontation of a complicated love triangle. Teodoro (a secretary) is originally in love with the maid Marcela, however when Diana, the Countess of Belflor (their boss) starts to show interest, Teodoro opts for trying to marry her instead. Marcela, in reaction, decides to seduce Fabio (another servant). Diana quickly demonstrates that she would rather get married to one of her suitors than to Teodoro, so he goes to try and get back with Marcela. Diana despite having already shown disinterest in a marriage with Teodoro, reacts jealously and tries to force Marcela and Fabio to marry so that Teodoro won’t be able to marry her. Teodoro eventually can’t take it any more and reveals his frustrations to Diana. This short is a silly light-hearted animated version of a climactic conflict between the 3 characters (SPAN dub. / ENG sub.).v
N’Kiedra NisbettArizona State University / Piece title: Cervantes’s “El viejo celoso” / Inspired by or based on: Entremés “El viejo celoso,” by Miguel de Cervantes Short film 
Se trata de una breve adaptación del “Entremés” de Miguel de Cervantes. Llamado “El Viejo Celoso”. Esta es la primera parte de la obra. En la obra, una joven llamada Doña Lorenza está casada con un viejo celoso llamado Canizares. Él la mantiene encerrada en la casa, pero finalmente puede hablar con su vecina y su sobrina. En el diálogo ella expresa lo que realmente siente por su esposo. El escenario del texto original es muy antiguo pero común. En mi adaptación, cambié el escenario y el lenguaje de la obra. En lugar de un matrimonio arreglado como está escrito en la obra original, incluí una reunión en línea con dos personas de dos lugares totalmente diferentes.
Jessa Nelson & Brooklynn Buck,Ohio Wesleyan UniversityPiece title: El Perro del Hortelano: Gossip Girl Edition / Inspired by or based on: El perro del hortelano / Video
This short film is inspired by Lope de Vega’s El Perro del Hortelano, which follows the love triangle of Countess Diana, her secretary Teodoro, and her maid Marcela. When Diana finds out about Marcela and Teodoro’s relationship she uses her power to win over Teodoro, however she cannot commit to him because of her honor.The adapted film mimicks the modern day television series, Gossip Girl, where young teenagers use an anonymous blogger to exploit each other. In the television series, the characters are in high school and are competitive as they get with lovers, college offers, and more. In our adaptation, Diana will follow the footsteps of priveledged private school students and will compete with maid, Marcela, for the heart of Teodoro, the young heartbreaker of high school. Marcela learns that in this society of wealth and privledge being a gatekeeper, she will never win against these trust fund babies. This adaptation shows how honor and class are still very prominent today, but in a more materialistic and digital way.

2022 JURY

Susan Paun de García
Susan Paun de García is Past President of the Association for Hispanic Classical Theater.
Emerita Professor of Spanish, she taught at Denison University, a selective Liberal Arts College in Granville, Ohio, having offered courses in all aspects of Spanish language, literature, and culture, with special emphasis in Spanish baroque (17th-century) and post-baroque (18th-century) theater and, in particular, the “comedia de teatro” (pieces with complex scenographical requirements).
In the classroom, her 3rd and 4th-year undergraduate students engaged with Spanish comedia  in various modalities: from on-stage performance of comedias, to the development or adaptation of play scripts for contemporary audiences in various media (film, music, comics, puppets), to improvisational development of characters and situations.She has published various critical editions and is an active member of the AHCT Translation Lab.
Ignacio García
Ignacio García (Madrid, 1977) has directed the Almagro International Classical Theater Festival Foundation since January 1, 2018. He has a degree in Stage Management from the Royal Higher School of Dramatic Art in Madrid.
He has directed theater shows based on texts by Calderón, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, Cervantes, Juan del Encina, León Felipe, Max Aub and José Saramago, among others, on stages, festivals, and both national and international companies. He has given workshops on interpretation for opera and zarzuela singers at the Teatro Colón in Bogotá and at The Academy of Opera in Oslo, as well as workshops on Spanish Theater of the Golden Age at the National School of Drama in New Delhi, India, at the National Theater Company of Mexico and the INSAAC (Institut National Supérieur des Arts et de l’Action Culturelle) of the Ivory Coast. In the lyrical field, he has performed the staging of more than 30 titles of the universal repertoire, demonstrating a special sensitivity for the zarzuela and the Spanish repertoire across many time periods.
He has been the Assistant Artistic Director at the Spanish Theater of Madrid; programmer of the International Festival of Contemporary Dramaturgy Dramafest of Mexico; and he has made collaborations with the Great National Theater of Peru, the National Theater of Bogotá and with the National Theater Company of Mexico, as well as many others.
Paula Paz
Paula is a theatre director and the co-founder and Artistic Director of the Cervantes Theatre in London and the Spanish Theatre Company.At the Cervantes Theatre, she has directed bilingual productions of Ay, Carmela! by José Sanchis Sinisterra, The Swallow by Guillem Clua, Darwin’s Tortoise by Juan Mayorga, The House of the Spirits by Caridad Svich after Isabel Allende and also The Little Pony by Paco Bezerra and Knives in Hens by David Harrower.Paula has worked in TV with Emilio Aragón as artistic coordinator in BSO at Movistar0#. She has also worked as a dramaturg and movement director in theatre and assistant director to Julia Burbach in opera.Paula is an academic of the Academy of Performing Arts of Spain, she has a degree in advertising and Public Relations from the Complutense University of Madrid and a Masters Degree with Distinction in Theatre Directing from Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts.  

Tas Emiabata

Tas is a Learning Consultant for Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, and regularly facilitate workshops, both nationally and internationally, supporting students, teachers and arts professionals in understanding the structure, language, and relevance of Shakespeare’s work today.Having an arts background based in theatre and music, he completed his master’s degree in Applied Theatre at Goldsmiths College (UCL). His international work has seen him deliver and direct Shakespeare’s work in Germany, Malta, Buenos Aires, India, The West Bank, China, Paris and the United States. He previously performed Caliban in The Tempest for Flute Theatre Company, making inclusive Shakespeare productions for children and young adults on the autistic spectrum.
In his work as a facilitator with the charity Tender, he works extensively with students, teachers, and healthcare professionals, exploring and promoting healthy intimate relationships in young people’s lives. Tas also devises and delivers bespoke training on leadership, justice and mercy, the outsider, as well as themes around gender and inclusion, within the voluntary, educational, health-care, corporate and military sectors. Current clients include the British Army, The Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), as well as leading theatres and drama schools across the UK.

Juan Ayala

Juan is a director, dramaturg, performer and designer based between London and Madrid. He is currently an associate artist at Teatro de la Abadía.
He is the artistic director of Collectivo Decollage and co-director of Mirage Teatro. He is a founder member of UK company Babakas directing their production of Our Fathers and has worked as a dramaturg, performer and educator across Europe for Limbik Theatre and Theatre Temoin (UK) La Guapa Teatre (ES) and Patari Project (GR).He originally trained as an architect before attending the Jacques Lecoq School in Paris and the London International School of Performing Arts (LISPA). His work deftly combines abstraction with complex narrative to create poetic, comic and politically charged work. Specialising in physical theatre, improvisation, devised works and adaptations, his work responds with sensitivity and risk-taking irreverence with the site, space and audience.
He has made over 30 works presented in: BAC London, MAC Birmingham, Greenwich Dance London, Jerwood Space London, DanceEast Ipswich, Teatro Español Madrid, Corral de Comedias de Alcalá, Matadero Madrid, Teatro Central Sevilla, Escenapoblenou Barcelona, BeirutSpringFestival inLíbano, TeatroMania in Polonia, PhysicalFestival Chicago, among others.

Natalie B. Wong

A director, performance maker, co-founder of Orang Collectif and production-stage manager of Singapore-Chinese heritage based in London. She holds an MA in Performance Making (Dist) from Goldsmiths College, London.
Natalie was the first resident assistant director at the Singapore Repertory Theatre where she was mentored by international directors such as the late Braham Murray, Bruce Guthrie, Scott Graham and Kate Golledge.
Her recent directing credits include Children of God by Jimin Suh (A short play adapted for film for New Stories online festival of new BE/SEA writings), The Tree of Objects (CAN Fest ’20), and Chapters of a Floating Life by Clarence Coo (Yellow Earth’s Typhoon’19). 
With the Orang Collectif, Natalie has co-produced The Sane Asylum and The Giving (A promenade evening of Live Performances). And she directs and performs in their ongoing project, AN:ODYSSEY (9-vignette performance exploring themes of Home, Borders and Identity).
She enjoys working with youths and her experience spans performing and assistant directing children’s theatre; directing youth theatre and teaching theatre. She has worked extensively with youths of special needs and at-risk communities. She designed and led the theatre programme for The Little Arts Academy, Singapore from 2009-2013.

Cortney Knipp

Cortney Knipp is an applied theatre facilitator and community-based artist. At the University of Virginia, Cortney was the inaugural Artistic Director and Program Manager of UVA Acts, an educational theatre program promoting equitable, vibrant spaces for working and learning. Cortney’s practice has been sharpened through collaboration with artists in a variety of contexts, including adults gaining literacy, young people experiencing confinement, educators in public schools, families experiencing housing insecurity, and community advocates who were formerly incarcerated. 
Her writing on community-engaged practices can be seen in publications such as Research in Drama Education: The Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance, the Howlround Blog, TYA Today, Theatre Topics and Youth Theatre Journal, and she has presented workshops and research at conferences including the American Alliance for Theatre & Education, Association for Theatre in Higher Education, and the NYU Forum on Educational Theatre. Cortney has worked as a guest artist at Texas State University, Anderson University, and James Madison University. She completed her B.A. in Theatre Studies at Furman University in South Carolina and her M.F.A. in Drama and Theatre for Youth and Communities from UT Austin. 
Brian Granger
Dr Brian Granger is an Assistant Professor at Ohio Wesleyan, a musical theatre book writer, playwright, theatre scholar, singer-songwriter, and actor/director whose works are an ongoing exploration of how we treat one another across lines of race, gender and class. His academic interests include North American ethnic playwrights and musical theatre, particularly Africana musicals on Broadway.
He holds degrees from Kenyon College (B.A.), The Ohio State University (M.F.A.), and the University of California, Santa Barbara (PhD). He remains particularly proud of his second M.F.A. in musical theatre writing from NYU/Tisch School of the Arts, where he studied under some of the nation’s greatest living (and Tony Award-winning) musical creators.