Alejandro Rodríguez Álvarez Biography

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(Critical Edition of Dramatic Literature)

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Alejandro Casona (Alejandro Rodríguez Álvarez) spent his entire life as an educator and a man of the theater. He was born in a tiny, remote village in Northern Spain to parents who taught in the local school. Casona trained for the same profession and worked regularly as a teacher and administrator until his exile. While stationed in the isolated Valle de Aráan, he began experimenting with drama, both as a teaching tool and for its own sake. After much initial frustration, he became an overnight success with the first performance of La sirena varada in 1934. Between 1931 and 1936, Casona combined his two callings as the director of Teatro del Pueblo (people’s theater), an institution dedicated to bringing culture to rural districts. Besides writing several short pieces for performances and handling administrative duties, he took part in several tours. He fled Spain in 1937 and began a triumphant sweep through Latin America, giving lectures and directing productions in Puerto Rico, Cuba, Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, Chile, and Argentina. In 1939, he settled in Buenos Aires, where he continued to compose new plays and began to write screenplays. After a long and productive residence in Argentina, he returned to Spain, where he died in 1965.