Emilio Carballido (1925–2008) was one of the most innovative and accomplished of Mexico's playwrights and one of the outstanding creators in the new Latin American theater. By his mid-forties he had already produced an impressive body of works in two very different veins. On the one hand, he mastered the techniques of the "well-made play." On the other, he developed a richly rewarding vein of fantasy, sometimes poetic, sometimes comic, sometimes macabre—and sometimes all three.
The plays in this volume are in the latter vein, ranging from surrealist farce in "The Intermediate Zone" to the grotesqueries of "The Time and the Place," from tragicomedy in "Theseus" to the dreamlike permutations of "The Golden Thread." But even at his most fantastic, Carballido never loses his remarkable gift for characterization: his peevish Minotaur, his raffish Nahual (were-jaguar) are wholly believable monsters.