Columbus State University theater students who were cast in 'Blood Wedding' realized quickly that they were involved in a complex play by Federico Garcia Lorca.
Director Becky Becker, an associate theater professor, spoke to CSU Spanish language professor José Barroco-Castro and he talked to the cast about Lorca and the play.
The concept of "duende" was something discussed. Like "chi" for Asians and "presence" for actors, it's "passion that comes from the gut," Becker said.
Barroco-Castro is familiar with the area of Spain where the play is set, Becker said.
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Music professor Manuel Díaz also came to talk to the students. Díaz, whose father actually knew Lorca, was able to tell the cast about Spain during the 1930s. His family fled Spain, eventually ending up in Chile.
"Blood Wedding" is basically a play about a wedding that goes awry, Becker said. Based on a true story, it's about a blood feud that recurs when a bride runs away with her former lover on her wedding day. Of course, it doesn't end well.
The characters have no names, just labels like "The Groom," "The Bride" and "The Maid." The only one with a name is Leonardo (the bride's former lover), who follows his heart, Becker said.
Eddie Zaboroskie plays Leonardo.
"I would describe him as a hard individual; very passionate," he said. "He doesn't have an interest in the blood feud, either ending it or continuing it. He just loves The Bride. This is not a light romantic comedy."
Zaboroskie said this role has been emotionally challenging for him.
April Nicole Hollingsworth, who plays The Bride, said, “she is really torn between two lovers. She is at a loss as what to do."
Because of the blood feud, Leonardo and The Bride were not able to get married. He later married someone else, but their love rekindles.
"This is the hardest role I've ever done," Hollingsworth said. "This is very much a tragedy. I never walk away from rehearsal happy. It's been emotionally draining."
Because she's a freshman and playing the lead in her very first play at CSU, Hollingsworth said she's a nervous wreck. "But I'm so excited. It's a great opportunity for me. This is not the last you'll see of me."
The Bride has a confidante, The Maid, played by Kimberly Belflower.
"She is kind of the mother figure for The Bride," Belflower said. "They are really good friends, and she's the voice of reason. At the same time, she is very conflicted because she knows what's going on. She is in everybody's business."
Belflower compares this role with Juliet's nurse in "Romeo and Juliet."
The catalyst in the show is The Mother, played by Allison Klem.
"She sets her worst fear into motion," Klem said. "It is tragic."
Klem said The Mother is very controlling and very repressed. She doesn't want to lose her remaining son like she lost her husband and other son.
IF YOU GO
What: "Blood Wedding" (“Bodas de Sangre”) is a play by the Spanish dramatist and poet Federico García Lorca. It was written in 1932 and first performed in 1933. "Blood Wedding" is the first play of Lorca's trilogy of rural tragedies. It's about a bride and groom — and the bride's former boyfriend, who is the mortal enemy of the groom's family.
When: 7:30 tonight-Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday
Where: Theatre on the Park, CSU Corn Center for the Visual Arts, 6 W. 10th St. (the corner of 10th Street and Bay Avenue)
Tickets: $15, $13 for seniors, children, active military and CSU alumni
Theater extra: 5 p.m. Saturday, CSU Spanish language professor José Barroco-Castro will discuss "Lorca's Theory of Duende, Flamenco Culture and Poetics" as a companion lecture to the play. Guests may join a "Picnic in the Park" by bringing their own food for dinner and conversation between the lecture and the performance. Free.