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Park Holds Annual Siglo de Oro Drama Festival

Chamizal National Memorial

National Park News

For 34 years, Chamizal National Memorial has brought together acting troupes from around the Spanish-speaking world to relive Spain’s Golden Age, referred to as the “Siglo de Oro.” The Siglo de Oro took place from approximately 1492 through 1692, which was also Spain’s period of conquest and conversion. This period is called Siglo de Oro because Spain’s art and literature flourished during this time. 

From March 4th to March 8th, the park hosted professional theater companies from the Canary Islands, Spain, and Mexico. These groups performed works by Felix Lope de Vega, Pedro Calderon de la Barca, and Agustin Moreto — all famous playwrights from the Siglo de Oro. This year, all of the plays were presented in Spanish. 

People from across the country and from Mexico came to see the 15th –17th century renaissance plays in period costumes with elaborate stage sets and lighting. This year, 1,845 visitors attended the festival, which included Americans erudite in the field of Hispanic classical theater.

Presenting the festival is no small task. The Siglo de Oro festival involved 53 theater cast members, 22 NPS staff, and 30 volunteers working in cooperation to make the event a success. The volunteers included community members and 25 high school students enrolled in a college-prep program at the University of Texas at El Paso. Collectively, the VIPs contributed 215 volunteer hours during the five-day event.

The annual Siglo de Oro Drama Festival at Chamizal National Memorial is the oldest one of its kind in the world and has a respected reputation throughout the Spanish classical literature and theater world. We invite you to join us in celebrating the 35th Siglo de Oro Drama Festival from March 3 through March 7, 2010. For more information you can visit our web site at


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