The Silent Drama of the Catalan

In Barcelona, where Catalan language and culture dominate, the theatrical community is at an interesting crossroads. “Despite the fact that the Catalan language is central to identity here, most of the major Catalan theatre companies either banish the spoken word entirely or relegate it to a very distant and neglected second place.” Such wordless theater began under the brutal reign of Franco, who banned the Catalan language. And while the ban led to the development of a uniquely image-based theater tradition, no one can quite explain why that tradition has continued to dominate Barcelona’s drama scene, even as the rest of the world has moved on.