The jury of the Princess of Asturias Award for Letters has chosen Juan Mayorga to grant him this year's recognition, for "the enormous quality, critical depth and intellectual commitment" of the playwright's work, founded on the pillars of "action, emotion , poetry and thought”. He has highlighted his "formidable renewal of the theatrical scene, endowing it with a philosophical and moral concern that challenges our society." According to the jury, Mayorga "conceives his work as a theater for the future and for the essential dignity of the human being."
This is one of the great years of Juan Mayorga's career, full of work and recognition. He has recently premiered a work at the Spanish Theater, the monologue Silence with Blanca Portillo, which arises from the text that the author read when he entered the Royal Spanish Academy as an academic in 2019. And El golem, directed by Alfredo Sanzol, at the María Guerrero Theater . They are not the only ones of his works that have been seen on stage in recent months.
“I try to write texts that awaken the desire for theater. I write them all with great ambition”, he explained about the character of his work in an interview with elDiario.es last January. "I want to talk about what is human, about what binds us, about our fragility and smallness and about our right to dignity and freedom, which can find interlocutors in different places," he added.
In addition to being a member of the RAE, he is a member of the Royal Academy of Doctors of Spain, an honorary member of the Royal Spanish Mathematical Society and a member of the Scientific Committee of the National Library of Spain. In Spain, he has received the RNE Critical Eye Award (2000), the Chivas Curtain for the Performing Arts (2005), the National Theater Award (2007), the Valle-Inclán Award (2009), the National Literature Dramatic (2013) and five Max Awards for Performing Arts. In 2016 he was awarded the Europe Prize for New Theatrical Realities.
Between montage and montage, Mayorga directs the permanent training master's degree in theater creation at Carlos III University. Some studies that she has consolidated after eight years as a reference throughout Spain.
From philosophy to theater
Mayorga began his theatrical career in 1989. Previously he studied Philosophy and Mathematics, and furthered his philosophical training at the universities of Münster, Berlin and Paris. She received her doctorate in 1997 with a work on the thought of Walter Benjamin. He learned dramaturgy in the writing workshops of José Sanchís Sinisterra, Josep Maria Benet i Jornet or the Chilean Marco Antonio de la Parra, a time in which he developed his first works around the group of playwrights Teatro del Astillero, under the baton of Guillermo Heras
At that time, Mayorga concocted a political theater about European memory that culminated in 1998 with one of his most performed and award-winning productions: Love Letters to Stalin. From those ninety is his first piece, Seven Good Men, a work about a fictitious Government of the Republic in exile, which even winning the Marqués de Bradomín Prize took 30 years to see the light. A lethargy between writing and the scene that, although many of his texts already in this century have been represented shortly after being written, is normal in Mayorga's career.
Sometimes, in those long periods of time between the writing and the performance, Mayorga rewrites some aspect, such as the gender inversion of the protagonist of The Burnt Garden, which could not be performed in 1997 for reasons of cultural policy and which has been premiered in Italy in 2016 and remains unreleased in Spain. “I have a conflictive relationship with my texts”, explained to elDiario.es. “Life is combat. I even believe that rewriting precedes writing. When a writer writes a sentence, he has already rewritten it in his head three times. My works are not immovable life documents. What I try to do is offer that ghost called text to the theatrical community”.
A candidacy defended from the Almagro Festival
This candidacy has been proposed by Rafael González Cañal, professor at the University of Castilla-La Mancha and director of the Almagro Classical Theater Conference, and has been chosen from among 41 of 19 nationalities.
Last year, it was French writer Emmanuel Carrère who deserved the award. Previous editions have awarded the work of Anne Carson, Adam Zagajewski, John Banville, Antonio Muñoz Molina, Leonard Cohen, Paul Auster, Claudio Magris, Arthur Miller, Augusto Monterroso, Günter Grass, Philip Roth, Carlos Fuentes, Camilo José Cela, Mario Vargas Llosa and Juan Rulfo, among others.
— Princess of Asturias Foundation (@fpa) May 31, 2022
The fifth of the eight Princess of Asturias Awards this year has already been awarded. dedicated to the arts it was for the singer Carmen Linares and the dancer and choreographer María Pagés. the of Communication and Humanities it was for the polish journalist adam micnik. The one for Social Sciences went to Eduardo Matos Moctezuma and the one for Sports went to the Foundation and the Refugee Olympic Team.
The prize is endowed with 50,000 euros, a sculpture by Joan Miró, a diploma and a badge. The jury was made up of Santiago Muñoz Machado (president), Sergio Vila-Sanjuán Robert (secretary), Xosé Ballesteros Rey, Xuan Bello Fernández, Blanca Berasátegui Garaizábal, Anna Caballé Masforroll, Gonzalo Celorio Blasco, Jesús García Calero, José Luis García Delgado , Pablo Gil Cuevas, Francisco Goyanes Martínez; Carmen Millán Grajales, Rosa Navarro Durán, Leonardo Padura Fuentes, Ana Santos Aramburo, Jaime Siles Ruiz, Diana Sorensen and Juan Villoro Ruiz.