A possible approach to the concept of “independent theater” leads us to an open and contradictory conception of a set of countercultural artistic practices. From the end of the 60s to the beginning of the 80s, independent companies in the Iberian Peninsula experimented with the multiple ways to crystallize the equation between theater and politics, or, in other words, art and society.
The concept “independent theater” in Spain was a self-assumed category by the Madrid group Goliardos in 1969 with the aim – through a survey in the Primer Acto magazine – to unify and define an heterogeneous and dispersed cultural field. The more than one hundred groups that formed the countercultural phenomenon were united by two major oppositions (to the Franco regime and to the commercial theater), but diverged in a multitude of concerns and of aesthetic and political positions. Some groups highlighted the search for new public and popular spaces; others stressed the experimentation of radical life forms such as communes or itinerancy; the search for new scenic languages; the creation of alternative circuits of representation based on trust and self-management; or defense of culture and own non-centralist or urban languages.
At the moment two projects are recovering the memory and the archives of the independent Spanish theater: Teatro independiente en España y Veus i arxius del teatre independent valencià (1968-1982).