Oscar Wilde once observed that `it is the spectator, and not life, that art really mirrors'. This thought is borne out in this volume, which brings together two different and often mutually exclusive constituencies: the academic critic and the theatre practitioner. In looking at the ways in which theatre is a barometer of society, the essays in this book form part of a larger theoretical inquiry into performance as interpretation, contingent upon the cultural context. Engaging with theoretical approaches to culture, and theoreticians from Elam to Brook, and from Derrida to Bakhtin, the author analyzes in detail productions of plays by Lope de Vega, Tirso de Molina, and Calderon de la Barca, as well as an adaptation of Rojas' Celestina, on the Spanish, or French, or Anglo-American stage. Two chapters deal with appropriations of Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice in translation on the Spanish and French boards. As they read performance in [trans]national productions, these essays are not only at the cutting-edge of theatre studies on the `foreign' stage, but they also bring Spanish Golden-Age plays, long neglected by professional directors of the classics because of the lack of a continuous performance tradition, closer to assuming their rightful place amongst `the great theatre of the world'. SUSAN L. FISCHER is Professor of Spanish and Comparative Literature at Bucknell University.