Out of the Wings

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Itziar Pascual Ortiz

Personal information
Surname: Pascual Ortiz
First name: Itziar
Commonly known as: Itziar Pascual
Other versions of the name: Itzíar Pascual
Born: 13 May 1967, Madrid, Spain

Itziar Pascual (Madrid 1967) is an award-winning playwright whose work became well known during the 1990s in Spain. In 1997, for example, Las voces de Penélope (Penelope’s Voices) won second prize in the prestigious Marqués de Bradomín competition. Pascual has also worked as a journalist, journal editor and radio presenter. She also contributes critical essays to a number of theatre journals and newspapers. Pascual is currently on the teaching staff of the drama school, the Real Escuela Superior de Arte Dramático (RESAD) in Madrid. She is particularly interested in promoting the activities of female writers and theatre practitioners, having been a member, for example, of the Asociación de Mujeres de Artes Escénicas en Madrid (Association of Women in the Scenic Arts in Madrid).


Itziar Pascual is interested in dramatising the experiences of those often overlooked by conventional historical narratives – for example, the (hi)stories of women, children and the elderly. She is particularly concerned with exploring gender as a performative construct (Harris 2003) and with dramatising the way in which women continue to be marginalised in society. Her plays suggest how women themselves contribute to this marginalisation, as learnt patterns of stereotypically ‘male’ or ‘female’ behaviour often prevent her characters from living more fulfilling lives.


Itziar Pascual’s work is marked by her use of highly poetic language. Elisa Sanz, who directed the 2001 dramatised reading of the play describes the result of this poetic discourse as a ‘paradise’, in that such language affords directors a large amount of artistic freedom when it comes to creating a visual represenation of Pascual’s work on stage (Sanz). Her plays feature a considerable amount of monologue, as characters speak to lovers and friends who do not appear on stage. She uses unconventional narrative structures which mean that her plays often end in ways that suggest, but do not explicitly present, a sense of resolution among characters. Carolyn Harris further explains the effects of the rejection of traditional narrative structures in Pasual’s drama, noting:

Pascual distances herself from traditional realism in favor of a fragmented structure that better reflects the fast pace of life in contemporary Spain. Using suggestive, poetic language, her works present an elliptic and impressionistic portrait of modern experience at the same time that they lead spectators to consider timeless questions facing humanity. (2003: 91)

Plays in the database

Entry written by Gwynneth Dowling. Last updated on 13 October 2010.

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