One actor will play a woman and a man, perform contemporary and Flamenco dance and incorporate video in a play that was first produced in 1933. She's Maria Vidal of Santander, Spain, who brings Cientos de Pájaros te Impiden Andar/Hundreds of Birds Impede Your Flight, an adaption of Spanish playwright Federico García Lorca's play Blood Wedding to Teatro Dallas this weekend.
The production kicks off the company's "Homage to Federico García Lorca," which includes a series of stage readings of Lorca's poems Feb. 22-March 3.
Cora Cardona, artistic/managing director for Teatro Dallas, says the tribute to the Spanish playwright seemed natural after she discovered Vidal was visiting Texas, and she had already been thinking about something based on Lorca's poetry.
"He's timeless in that he still has have issues that are relevant today," she says. "Lorca is definitely one of these writers that speaks to us."
In the production, a woman has an affair with a man but her family disapproves of him. She separates from him, and her family arranges for her to marry another man. Then she sees her old lover again—and the story ends in tragedy.
The play, which takes place in the 1920s and 1930s, brings up several elements Lorca is known for—addressing societal issues that remain relevant today, such as women's independence and domestic violence, and his use of nature interacting with characters, like the moon and animals talking to the couple.
The play will be performed in Spanish, and a synopsis in English will be provided. The play is adapted and directed by Pati Domench with co-director Jorge López.
Vidal plays characters of both genders, all ages and performs both modern and flamenco dance. Vidal received a Best Outstanding Performance award from HOLA (Hispanic Organization of Latin Actors) for her past work.
"It's incredibly entertaining," Cardona said. "Your mouth is going to be wide open. She takes on all these voices, and the transformation is an art form."
The company's homage to Lorca will continue with a stage reading of his "Romancero Gitano" —which reflects Lorca's Gypsy background—with local artists. Performances will be presented in English and Spanish with English subtitles.
Cardona noted that Lorca lived in a repressive, violent time period in his native country – and his plays seem to be about family when they're symbolic of his homeland.
"He foresaw the future in many ways, especially when it came to capitalism and social issues," she says. "It's amazing he was already thinking about what was happening in the future."
- Cientos de Pájaros te Impiden Andar runs 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Feb. 8 and 9
- Romancero Gitano is Feb. 22-24 and March 1-3, with performances at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 3 p.m. Sundays.
♦ Jessica DeLeon runs The Hispanic Reader blog, devoted to Latino voices in literature.