Religious drama is a very important part of the Spanish Golden age. Once the country of Spain was united at the end of the fifteenth century, religious theatre was fully established and flourished (Wilson and Goldfarb 193). The importance of this religious theatre in Spain continued for a long time; much longer than in other countries (Wilson and Goldfarb 193). These religious dramas were first performed actually inside the churches during ceremonies and masses.
There a few aspects of Spanish religious theatre that differentiates theatre created in Spain from that of other cultures. Spanish religious plays were known as autos sacramentals, which were written for Corpus Christi festival. These one act plays would honor and refer to the sacraments (Wilson and Goldfarb 195). The plays would serve to validate the teachings of the church. The plays had characteristics of medieval morality and mystery plays (Wilson and Goldfarb 195).
In the 1600s, professional troupes performing autos sacramentals would have to perform their piece for the king and then the city council to approve before performing for the public (Wilson and Goldfarb 195). The troupes would tour through villages and mount their plays on carros, or wagons that the plays could travel on (Wilson and Goldfarb 195). All of these plays and their equipment were funded by the government (Wilson and Goldfarb 195). This shows that the production of religious plays was very important to the spanish culture at the time. Religious dramas are still important to Spain today as some are in fact still performed.
Wilson, Edwin, and Alvin Goldfarb. Living Theatre: History of Theatre. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2012. Print.