Out of the Wings

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El pintor de su deshonra (c.1645), Pedro Calderón de la Barca


It is a three-act comedia. The location shifts from Naples to Spain (Barcelona) and back again to Naples.


The play opens in Don Luis’s house, indoors. Gunfire or cannon fire is heard from outside. The second act opens with the couple relocating to Spain, and Don Juan paints Serafina’s portrait, so artist’s supplies are needed (although he never finishes the portrait, indeed he does not get very far in capturing her likeness). There is a masked Carnival ball in the second act, in which music, dancing and costumes make for a festive atmosphere. Serafina and her friends leave the party to go to dinner at Don Diego’s house, which burns down in the last scene of the second act, although this happens offstage. Serafina is carried in unconscious, having been knocked out by the smoke. The sense of a sea port is important, for Alvaro takes Serafina onto his ship, and Juan throws himself into the sea. The final act is back in Naples, in a new location because Alvaro has imprisoned Serafina in his father’s hunting lodge. There is a partition in the lodge so that Serafina can hide from another character in the lodge but still be seen by the audience. Gunshots are heard. Don Juan has changed his clothes, as he appears in the third act as an itinerant artist, probably dressed in rags and without taking good care of his appearance. Don Juan’s painting materials are called for in the final scene when he prepares to paint Serafina’s portrait; and he needs two guns, because he shoots both Alvaro and Serafina on stage at the end with one in each hand.

Cast number
Minimum Maximum
8 males 9 males
4 females 5 females
12 (total) 14 (total)
Cast information
plus musicians, additional servants, attendants
  • DON JUAN ROCA, A nobleman
  • DON LUIS, Diplomat of the Italian city of Naples, a Spanish colony at this time
  • JUANETE, Don Juan’s servant
  • PORCIA, Luis’s daughter
  • DON ALVARO, Luis’s son (and Porcia’s sister)
  • DON PEDRO, Serafina’s father
  • SERAFINA, Don Juan Roca’s wife, much younger than her husband
  • PRINCE URSINO, In love with Porcia, saved Alvaro
  • FLORA, Servant
  • JULIA, Servant
  • CELIO, Ursino’s servant
  • FABIO, Servant
  • BELARDO, Servant

Entry written by Kathleen Jeffs. Last updated on 4 October 2010.

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