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autoUS and Canadian informal
a kind of religious, allegorical, one-act dramatic presentation in Spain and Portugal (from the second half of the 13th through the 18th centuries). In the beginning an auto could be performed by three to four amateurs, but during the 16th and 17th centuries it changed into an extravagant spectacle, akin to a mystery play. Texts of autos were written by G. Vicente (Portugal), J. del Encina, and Lope F. de Vega Carpio (Spain). The classical form of the auto is attributed to P. Calderón de la Barca, who wrote about 80 autos and reinforced this genre on the Spanish stage. In 18th-century Spain, during the Enlightenment, the staging of autos, which by that time had become one of the obsolete forms of medieval drama, was prohibited.
REFERENCESKhrestomatiia po zarubezhnoi literature: Epokha Vozrozhdeniia, vol. 1. Compiled by B. I. Purishev. Moscow, 1959. Pages 299–302.
Piezas maestras del teatro teológico español: Autos sacramentales. Madrid, 1946.