Out of the Wings

You are here:

La devoción de la cruz (1628-1633), Pedro Calderón de la Barca


This is a three-act comedia.


The setting is the town of Siena and the nearby countryside. The first scene takes place in the hills outside the city, on the road to Siena. Two muddy peasants have been struggling with an immobile donkey, and when the highwaymen come, they argue over love letters Eusebio has written to Julia, which Lisardo returns to him.  Eusebio and Lisardo fight, and Lisardo is wounded. The scene shifts to Curcio’s house, interior. Lisardo’s bloody corpse is brought into Curcio’s house, and Eusebio escapes out the window. Gunfire is heard at the start of Act 2, and the highwaymen carry harquebuses. Eusebio and his highwaymen tie up the peasants, and he enters the convent by climbing up a ladder propped up against its walls. He falls from the ladder on his descent, but is all right, and Julia follows him down the ladder. The peasant, Gil, covers himself in crosses in Act 3 to protect himself from Eusebio. Julia dresses as a man and carries a sword when she is captured by the highwaymen.  A battle ensues between Curcio’s and Eusebio’s men. Eusebio falls down a cliff and lands at the spot marked by the cross. Eusebio’s body is covered with branches which are removed by Alberto when Eusebio comes back to life. There is a great opportunity for creative staging at the end, when Julia holds on to the cross as it is raised up to Heaven.

Cast number
Minimum Maximum
12 males 18 males
3 females 3 females
15 (total) 21 (total)
  • EUSEBIO, Bandit leader
  • CURCIO, Old man, from Siena
  • LISARDO, Curcio’s son
  • OTAVIO, Curcio’s lieutenant
  • ALBERTO, Priest
  • CELIO, Bandit
  • RICARDO, Bandit
  • GIL, Comic peasant
  • BLAS, Peasant
  • TIRSO, Peasant
  • TORIBIO, Peasant
  • JULIA, Lady, daughter of Curcio
  • ARMINDA, Julia’s maidservant
  • MENGA, Comic peasant woman

Entry written by Kathleen Jeffs. Last updated on 25 February 2011.

Post a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment. Please log in or sign up for a free account.

  • King's College London Logo
  • Queen's University Belfast Logo
  • University of Oxford Logo
  • Arts and Humanities Research Council Logo