Biography of Elena Arcediano (s. XX)

Playwright and translator Spanish 20th century (although perhaps born at the end of the previous century), of which there are no known other data than those related to the four plays that, nowadays, are attributed with certainty to his authorship. Despite this forgetfulness, he/she should enjoy a well-deserved prestige in literary and dramaturgic on its geo-cultural area, as the undoubted quality of his works adds the fact that were represented or carried to the printing press, achievements that were not within the reach of all the playwrights of his time.

The first of these well-known theatrical pieces of Elena Arcediano is the titled single women, a comedy-drama composed of three acts, whose formal perfection and thematic interest show clearly the great literary talent of Elena Arcediano (even more amazing if, as it seems, this is its first foray into the art of Talia). His dialogues are brilliant, their characters are perfectly characterised, and in its dramatic situations there is a perfect balance between episodes and serious parliaments and sets such humorous, always within a generic runway well-known and profiling - the bourgeois comedy - that single women provides some original element of unquestionable interest (such as the fact that successful women who appear in its text occupy a few unusual personal - and custom - spaces in this subgenre (theatrical, spaces that are converted as well as symbols of those scenarios of power, comfort or prestige that, thanks to their determination, have managed to reach and take throughout their lives).

With great applause from the critics and public, single women was taken first to tables on January 5, 1934, at the teatro Eslava of Valencia, by the company López Heredia-Asquerino; and during the same year of its release also deserved the honours of the printing press (Valencia: Imprenta de José Olmos, 1934).

Four years later, Elena Arcediano returned to the stage of Valencia (which, if it was not his hometown, Yes must be, at least, the place where he/she spent most of his days, as it is apparent from the fact that all of his known works are released in the city of the Turia); but this time not filed with the Levantine public an original piece, but a Spanish version of the taming of the Shrew, WilliamShakespeare, made in collaboration with Maximiliano Thous (playwright, well known, above all, by their libretti written for different operettas). This Spanish version of Shakespeare's comedy premiered at the mentioned Slavic theatre of Valencia, on July 5, 1938.

Yet it had not concluded that year of 1938 when the name of Elena Arcediano returned to theatrical Billboard of Valencia, this time as an author responsible for an original work entitled the Knight of the rueful countenance. Again, written in collaboration with Maximiliano Thous, it is not so much a play itself like a long Rhapsody in verse and prose about different topics, issues, characters and episodes of Don Quixote. In total, are two acts, twenty-one paintings and two entrecuadros that make up this unique dramatized Rhapsody, which won unanimous applause from critics at the time precisely by its success when it comes to focus their content on themes, motifs and loose characters, without attempting a risky dramatization of the cervantine narrative matter, have been carried outyou could have yielded fruits spooky from the dramatic point of view. It was the Group of Salvador Soler Mari and Milagros Leal which, after having assumed the name of company official of dramatic art, put in scene the Knight of the rueful countenance in the main theatre of Valencia, on October 15, 1938.

Although there is no news of the exact date in its premiere took place, is known another original work by Elena Arcediano, Sun on the sand, a loving drama and social composed of three acts, which was brought to the tables for the first time during the Civil War. As occurred in single women, again the author took his pen to draw a magnificent portrait of women strong, safe, courageous and independent of its time, this time embodied in the character of Jesus María, a single mother who defies any social Convention in the Spanish village where he/she lives. The irruption of love in his life, personified in one of the antagonists who, by force, must hate, becomes the tragic trigger of conflict that holds the plot. Also in this work Elena Arcediano showed his extraordinary ability to build the dialogues, their ability on the stroke of the traits which define perfectly the psychological profile of the characters, and its exquisite care when selecting a vocabulary according to the so-called culture of each of these figures formation. It is no wonder, therefore, that the quality of this piece advised a print edition that rescue it from oblivion, Edition that was held in the city of Valencia in 1955, at the expense of the Provincial delegation of the East capital.


-BELLVESER, Ricardo. Theatre at the crossroads. Everyday life in 1936-1939 Valencia (Valencia: City Hall, 1987).

-BLASCO, Ricard. The Teatre Al País Valencià during the civil war (1936-1939). (Barcelona: Curial, 1986). 2 vols.

-CONCRETE, Juan Antonio (dir.) Authors in the history of the Spanish Theatre (1500-1994). (Madrid: publications of the Association of Directors of scene of Spain, 1996). 2 vols.

-MARRAST, Robert. The teatre durant the Guerra Civil espanyola (Barcelona: Institut del Teatre, 1977).

-It SNOWS peace pillar. Spanish dramatic authors between 1918 and 1936. (Madrid: Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, 1993).