The theater is in luck. Juan Mayorga (Madrid, 1965), the most relevant Spanish playwright of his generation, has just won the 2022 Princess of Letters Award. And he has more than enough merit to prevail among the 41 candidates from 19 nationalities in contention, because his vast dramaturgy, profound, lucid, committed and methodical, it has crossed national barriers to be translated into more than thirty languages and performed in the main theaters on five continents. His works are in bookstores, they have critical editions that are studied in universities and institutes and there is no Madrid theater season where several of them do not coincide on the poster.
Mayorga is also a member of the Royal Spanish Academy, Elected on April 12, 2018, he took office on May 19, 2019 with the speech entitled 'Silence'. He occupies the chair corresponding to the letter 'M' and is also its treasurer. A speech that, how could it be otherwise, he dedicated to theatre, the genre to which he has been devoted for three decades and which has made him the most represented, translated and edited living Spanish playwright in the world.
The man from Madrid is also director of the Chair of Performing Arts and of the Master's Degree in Theater Creation at the Carlos III University of Madrid, full academician of the Royal Academy of Doctors of Spain, honorary member of the Royal Spanish Mathematical Society and member of the Scientific Committee of the National Library of Spain.
Mayorga graduated in Philosophy from the National University of Distance Education (UNED) and in Mathematics from the Autonomous University of Madrid in 1988. And, in 1997, he received his doctorate from the UNED with the thesis 'The philosophy of history of Walter Benjamin' .
He has also been a professor of Mathematics at university centers and secondary schools in Madrid and Alcalá de Henares, a stage in which he retains the warmth and didactic eagerness of the teacher, professor of Playwriting and Philosophy at the Royal Higher School of Dramatic Art of Madrid and director of the seminar 'Memory and thought in contemporary theater' at the Institute of Philosophy of the Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC). He has also given playwriting workshops and conferences on theater and philosophy in numerous countries.
His extensive theatrical work, in which the pieces 'Himmelweg', 'The boy in the last row' stand out —made into a film by François Ozon in the film 'Dans la maison', winner of the Golden Shell at the San Sebastián—, 'Nocturnal Animals', 'Hamelin', 'Love Letters to Stalin', 'Perpetual Peace' and 'The Cartographer', has been translated into more than thirty languages. The uÑa RoTa publishing house has collected the following texts in Theater 1989-2014: 'Seven good men', 'More ashes', 'The Blumemberg translator', 'The burnt garden', 'Angelus Novus', 'Love letters to Stalin ', 'The Fat and the Skinny', 'Himmelweg', 'Nocturnal Animals', 'Snowflake's Last Words', 'Hamelin', 'The Boy in the Back Row', 'Darwin's Tortoise', 'The perpetual peace', 'The tongue in pieces', 'The critic', 'The cartographer', 'The Yugoslavs', 'The art of the interview' and R'eikiavik'. The same publisher has subsequently published 'Famélica', 'Intensmente Azules' and 'El Mago'.
His short theatrical pieces have been collected by the author under the title 'Theater for minutes'. This selection includes the works 'Fatal Widow Kolakowski Concert', 'The Golden Man', 'The Bad Image', 'Legión', 'The Guardian', 'The Skin', 'Yellow', 'The Crack', 'The woman of my life', 'BRGS', 'The left hand', 'A letter from Sarajevo', 'Meeting in Salamanca', 'The good neighbor', 'Candidates', 'Innocence', 'Justice', ' Communist Manifesto', 'Street Sense', 'The Spirit of Cernuda', 'The Devil's Library', 'Three Rings', 'Women on the Cornice', 'Le Brun Method for Happiness', 'Department of Justice' , 'JK', 'The woman with the sad eyes', 'The winter movies', '581 maps', 'I want to be a swarm', 'Lagrange cake', 'The door', 'EAJ1', 'Voltaire, Augusto and Margaret', 'Among the trees' and 'A fraction'.
The playwright has also covered classic texts by other authors, such as 'Hécuba' (Euripides), 'La dama boba' (Lope de Vega), 'Fuente Ovejuna' (Lope de Vega), 'El monster de los Jardines' (Calderón de la Barca), 'Life is a Dream' (Calderón de la Barca), 'King Lear' (William Shakespeare), 'Natán the Wise' (Gotthold Ephraim Lessing), 'Don Juan Tenorio' (José Zorrilla), 'Woyzeck ' (Georg Büchner), 'The Grand Inquisitor' (Fyodor Dostoevsky), 'An Enemy of the People' (Henrik Ibsen), 'Platonov' (Anton Chekhov), 'Before the Law' (Franz Kafka), 'Divine Words' ( Ramón María del Valle-Inclán) and 'The visit of the old lady' (Friedrich Dürrenmatt).
Also noteworthy is his essay 'Conservative Revolution and Revolutionary Conservation. Politics and memory in Walter Benjamin' and those collected in the Elipses collection.
Juan Mayorga has won numerous awards and distinctions, including Europe New Theatrical Realities (2016), National Theater (2007), National Dramatic Literature (2013), National Letters Teresa de Ávila (2016), Valle-Inclán (2009), Ceres (2013), La Barraca a las Artes Escénicas (2013), Ojo Critico de Radio Nacional (2000) and Max for best author (2006, 2008 and 2009) and for best adaptation (2008 and 2013).
Since February 2022, he has been the director of the Teatro de la Abadía in Madrid and the Corral de Comedias in Alcalá de Henares. And to that overwhelming curriculum now adds the Princess of Asturias of Letters - succeeding the French writer and journalist Emmanuel Carrère in the list of winners - who almost always refuses to consider his texts finished.