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Medieval Ballads in Miniature: Shadow of Myself is a dynamic, interdisciplinary production which seeks to personify and modernize medieval Spanish romances through original music, adapted narration, and puppetry. The production explores the worlds created by beloved Spanish romances Abenámar and La Doncella Guerrera through a modern lens by means of novel adaptations of the works which intend to call attention to the thematic relevance of the romances to the current day.

Through the voice of a single narrator, the audience is transported to what we now know as Spain in the Middle Ages, first to the Moorish region of Granada when it begins to draw interest from the Christian kingdom of Castilla, and later to an unnamed kingdom where the protagonist must face the duality of their identity. Unique to these texts is the narrator’s relationship with the protagonists; in the first romance, the narrator is permitted to speak directly to the protagonist, Abenámar, at the onset and the conclusion of the work, and in the second romance, it becomes apparent by the end of the piece that the protagonist, la Doncella, is indeed one with the narrator. Textual themes of duality, courage, patriarchy, and heritage are represented musically by leitmotifs, recurring musical phrases or themes that denote a particular character, location, or idea, and by the silhouettes of the puppets themselves.

Medieval Ballads in Miniature: Shadow of Myself is premiering at Ohio Wesleyan University (Fall 2020). Translation, adaptation, narration, musical collaboration, and puppet design by Hannah Treadway. Original music by Noah Green. Directed by Paula Rodríguez. Supervised by Dr. Glenda Nieto-Cuebas.

Text by Hannah Treadway