Fernando de Rojas, translated by Jo Clifford
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Celestina, madam of the local brothel, is commissioned by a nobleman to help him seduce a beautiful young woman. Using all her wiles and with the help of two greedy servants she goes about weaving her spells … with tragic results. CELESTINA has been a pivotal work of European culture since 1499, when it was first performed, and the character of the ever-resourceful procuress Celestina has inspired artists from Goya to Picasso.

Production Info

Cast: 10 total (5 female, 5 male)
Full Length Drama (about 150 minutes)
Minimal Set Requirements
Period Costumes
Categories: , Tags: ,

Press Quotes

“CELESTINA is a Spanish dialogue classic … Its marvellous central character … is part Mother Courage, part Fagin. She really controls the action and pulls the strings of the satellites who are compelled to orbit around her. Her charges are unattractive prostitutes and inadequates. They attract her customers such as cynical Sempronio, desperate and often funny Pármeno, and the young love-lorn Calisto. She also has a nice line in the honourable profession of creating virgins using needle and thread. Eventually, with Mother Celestina’s help and a little assistance from the Black Arts, most of these individuals receive satisfaction but it rarely makes them happy. The main plot line revolves around vain Calisto’s love for the unresponsive Melibea. The final scene is unbearably poignant, as Melibea explains her plight to her well-to-do father, prior to a dramatic, tragic death … The translation by Jo Clifford is modern and feisty and, at its best, often poetic. He emphasises that while this version is much shorter than the original, he has remained faithful to the structure and sentiments of de Rojas.” —Philip Fisher, The British Theatre Guide

About the Author


  • Fernando de Rojas

    Fernando de Rojas (c. 1465/73 – April 1541) was a Spanish author and dramatist, known for his only surviving work, LA CELESTINA, first published in 1499. It is considered the last work of the Spanish Middle Ages or the first work of the Spanish Renaissance. LA CELESTINA was never staged during de Rojas's lifetime, but it enjoyed considerable success and numerous printings, with some 60 editions having been published.

  • Jo Clifford

    Jo Clifford (formerly known as John Clifford) is an award-winning playwright, translator, poet, and performer, who has also worked as a journalist and academic. She was instrumental in establishing the reputation of the Traverse Theatre Company in the 1980s. Jo Clifford is the author of over 70 works in every dramatic medium. Her work has been translated into many languages and has been performed all over the world. Her plays include THE TREE OF KNOWLEDGE; SEX, CHIPS AND THE HOLY GHOST; EVERYONE; AN APPLE A DAY; LOSING VENICE; PLAYING WITH FIRE; INES DE CASTRO; LIGHT IN THE VILLAGE; TCHAIKOVSKY & THE QUEEN OF SPADES; and CHARLES DICKENS: THE HAUNTED MAN. Also for the stage, Jo has adapted FAUST PARTS 1 & 2 and ANNA KARENINA, GREAT EXPECTATIONS, LA VIE DE BOHEME and WUTHERING HEIGHTS and has translated SCHISM IN ENGLAND, LIFE IS A DREAM, CELESTINA, THE HOUSE OF BERNARDA ALBA, and BINTOU. For radio, Jo has written SPAM FRITTERS, WRITING HOME TO MOTHER, MADELEINE, and AIN'T IT GREAT TO BE BLOOMIN' WELL DEAD and has adapted BALTASAR & BLIMUNDA. Jo's adaptation of Charles Dickens's GREAT EXPECTATIONS has toured the UK. She lives in Edinburgh and is a former Professor of Theatre at Queen Margaret University.

About the Book

Book Information

Publisher Nick Hern Books
Publication Date 4/1/2005
Pages 128
ISBN 9781854598189

Special Notes

Special Notes

Licensees are required to include the original stage producers credits in the following form on the title page in all programs distributed in connection with performances of the Play and in all advertising in which the full cast appears in size of type not less than ten percent (10%) of the size of the title of the Play:
The following must appear within all programs distributed in connection with performances of the Play:
Celestina is produced
by special arrangement with Broadway Play Publishing Inc, NYC