Held together by these cords of inquiry, this investigation into staging sexfollows the following trajectory:
The beginning of the chapter, “Stakes,” examines the consequences of makingsex the driving force behind Don Juan’s story, particularly for reviving theBurlador in the United States. Michael Kidd’s translation of the
,completed in the US in 2004 and premiered in Toronto later that year,provides a cautionary example of the warped and diminished dramaticexperience that results when the Burlador
from Sevilla becomes the sex-driven, sex-dominated, and sex-damned Ladykiller of Seville.
The middle of the chapter, “Location and Dislocation,” adapts strategiesrecently developed to clarify sexual relationships in Shakespearean comedy tothe task of decisively identifying (for the first time in translation history)places where sexual activity takes center stage in the
,and places where sex does
sit in the
’s driver-seat. Textual andstructural analysis of three representative sites – the play’s inciting incident,Don Juan’s
soliloquy, and Catalinón’s three invocations of theunusual verb
– assemble conclusive evidence that sex plays anemphatically secondary role in the first Don Juan play.
The ending of the chapter, “New Ways to Play the Burlador,” converts thechapter’s analytical finding that sex is
a driving force in Don Juan’scharacterization into practical information that actors can use.Reexamination of the 17
-century script demonstrates the importance of mirroring and identity exploration for the first Don Juan’s performance, andproduces model translations of critical passages for putting that revolutionary rediscovery of the character onstage.This method of inquiry hauls a mother-lode of stageworthy mettle to thesurface of the first Don Juan – findings that revolutionize the translation of DonJuan’s character objective, character strategy, and character through-line. Whatdrives the Burlador, this investigation documents, is delight in seduction (notsex), a boundless interest in finding the festering secrets in other people’s livesand arranging a salutary airing for them. The strategy that he characteristically deploys to fulfill his objective, this interrogation determines, is mirroring (not