Vondel or Lope de Vega? On Spanish Theather and Dutch Actresses

Keywords: theatre history, Amsterdamse Schouwburg, Spanish theatre, Lope de Vega, actresses, Ariana van den Bergh, Susanna van Lee


This article examines the popularity of the most important plays performed in the Amsterdamse Schouwburg between 1650 and 1670 on the basis of the receipts recorded in the archives. This recent research into Dutch theatre history and the Amsterdamse Schouwburg shows that the public enjoyed a repertoire that was much more international and multifaceted than just the classic Biblical tragedies mentioned in the literary histories. From the mid-seventeenth century, it was the translations of Spanish comedias that attracted a large audience. People enjoyed both the spectacle and the important roles for women. This had major consequences for the Schouwburg’s staff, because, for the first time, actresses had to be hired. These Dutch actresses were versatile divas with a great sense of drama, and the audience came especially to see them. Further research into this topic is recommended.

Keywords: theatre history; Amsterdamse Schouwburg; Spanish theatre; Lope de Vega; actresses; Ariana van den Bergh; Susanna van Lee


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