‘La Barraca’ Award for performing arts

The Universidad Internacional Menéndez Pelayo grants the annual honorary La Barraca award to standout individuals across the different branches of the performing arts. The award is granted by the Governing Council after a taking a secret ballot and attaining an absolute majority. The accolade itself comprises a reproduction of a symbolic object from the world of performing arts and a diploma issued by the Vice-Chancellor of the UIMP stating the year when the award was granted.

2022 Award: Lola Herrera


The actress Lola Herrera (Valladolid, 1935) has just finished her historic run as Carmen Sotillo in Cinco hora con Mario (Five Hours with Mario), Miguel Delibes’ emblematic work which she has starred in for over four decades. Herrera came to Madrid in the early 1950s to start her acting career. Her big screen debut came in 1953 in the film El pórtico de la gloria. She then spent time in the theatre and appeared on the small screen in the early 1960s in series such as Gran teatro, Confidencias and Historias para no domir. In the 1970s, the actress combined television and film work, appearing in La Lola, dicen que no vive sola, La semana del asesino, Abortar en Londres and Arriba Azaña. Herrera has won many awards, including the Gold Medal of Merit for the Arts (1999), the Gold Medal of Merit for Service (2006) and the Max Award for her performance in Solas in 2006.





2020 Award: Josep María Pou

Josep Maria Pou i Serra

An actor and theatre director, Josep debuted in the Teatro Español in Madrid in 1968 and since then, he has premiered over sixty shows alongside many national and international writers and directors. His theatre work has been done in tandem with standout work in cinema and television. In addition to his work as an actor and director, he has also translated different contemporary British and American plays. He is currently artistic director of the Romea Theatre in Barcelona.

As an actor, highlights from his theatre work include ‘Justicia’ (2020), ‘Viejo amigo Cicerón’ (2019), ‘Moby Dick’ (2018), ‘Socrates’ (2015), ‘No Man’s Land’ (2013), ‘Forests’ (2012), ‘Orson Welles’ (2008), ‘King Lear’ (2004), ‘Art’ (1998), ‘Angels in America’ (1997), etc.

As an actor and director: ‘Skylight’ (2013), ‘An Inspector Calls’ (2011), ‘The History Boys’ (2008), ‘The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?’ (2005), amongst others.

As a director: ‘Kennedy’s Children’ (2013), ‘Fuegos’ (2013), ‘Cocha! Yo lo que quiero es bailar’ (2011), ‘Büyük Sultan Katalina’ (2010), ‘The Life Ahead’ (2020), etc.

He has been distinguished throughout his career including the National Drama Award from the Ministry of Culture; the National Culture Award from the Catalan government; the Culture Award from the Region of Madrid; the Ricardo Calvo Award from Madrid City Council; the International Terenci Moix Award; the Sant Jordi Award for Cinema; the Ercilla Award; the Onda Award; the Honorary Gaudí Award from the Catalan Academy of Cinema, and now the ‘La Barraca’ Award from the UIMP in Santander.


2019 Award: Albert Conejero


Born in Vilches (1978), Albert is a graduate in stage direction and playwriting from the Royal School for Dramatic Art and holds a PhD from the Complutense University of Madrid. His plays have been staged in Spain, Greece, the United Kingdom, Chile, Mexico, Uruguay, Colombia, Paraguay, Argentina, Peru, Puerto Rico, and other nations.

Highlights from his theatre productions include: La geometría del trigo (2019), Los días de la nieve (2017), Todas las noches de un día, winner of the 3rd AAT Theatre Play Contest; La piedra oscura, 2016 Max Award for Best Playwright and 2016 Ceres Award for Best Playwright, amongst others; Ushuaia, 2013 Ricardo López de Aranda Award; Cliff, winner of the 4th LAM Competition 2010; Húngaros, 2000 National University Theatre Award; Fiebre, runner-up for the 1999 National Short Play Award.

He has also been in charge of different dramatic forms and adaptations including: Medea (Lliure Theatre, alongside Lluís Pasqual), Electra (Spanish National Ballet and Zarzuela Theatre, 2017), Fuenteovejuna (National Classical Theatre Company, 2017); Troyanas (Merida Classical Theatre Festival, 2017), Rinconete y Cortadillo (Sexpeare Theatre, 2016), Amor de don Perlimplín con Belisa en su jardín (Autumn to Spring Festival / Metatarso, 2016), Proyecto Homero / Odisea (La Joven Compañía 2016). He published his sole poetry collection to date in 2017: Si descubres un incendio (La Bella Varsovia).


2018 Award: Helena Pimenta


Helena Pimenta (Salamanca, 1955) is a stage, play and theatre director, and was director of the National Classical Theatre Company from 2011 to 2019. She was awarded the National Drama Award in 1993. A graduate in English and French from the University of Salamanca, she read Spanish, English and French drama during her studies which would provide a solid basis for her later work.

Her theatre career began indirectly later on, using dramatics as a tool for teaching foreign languages when she was a secondary school teacher at the Koldo Mitxelena School in Rentería. Students found a meeting place in theatre, exploring different disciplines and becoming the principal protagonists in their own learning. This was how Pimenta discovered what would become the centre of her professional and personal life.

She highlights that the first works to inspire her were Quejío from La Cuadra and Brook’s adaptation of The Mahabharata.






Full lists of awards      

YEAR Edition   Award-Winners  
2023  XV José Luis Gómez Actor and theatre director
2022  XIV Lola Herrera Actress
2020  XIII José María Pou           Actor and theatre director
2019 XII Albert Conejero           Playwright and poet
2018 XI Helena Pimenta           Stage director, playwright and theatre director
2017 X Blanca Portillo  Actress, director and producer
2016 IX Albert Boadella            Playwright and writer
2015 VIII Rafael Álvarez "El Brujo"        Actor  
2014     VII  Juan Carlos Pérez de la Fuente         Director and theatre producer
2012 VI Juan Mayorga Playwright
2011     V Jordi Savall     Orchestra conductor and musicologist 
2010     IV Carmen Linares           Flamenco singer
2009     III Aída Gómez    Dancer and choreographer 
2008     II Mario Gas        Theatre director
2008     II Roberto Scandiuzzi     Opera singer  
2007 I Diego 'El Cigala' Flamenco singer