Ouachita Baptist University’s Department of Theatre Arts will present Blood Wedding by Federico García Lorca on Nov. 1-6 in Verser Theatre. The production opens Wednesday, Nov. 1, at 8 p.m. Additional performances will be held Nov. 2-4 and 6 at 7:30 p.m. A matinee performance will be held on Sunday, Nov. 5, at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are open to the public and are $10 each.
Blood Wedding is a tragedy and features two families in a rural town who will be united in marriage. The play focuses on the wedding day and how characters’ choices influence the events of the day. As the production progresses, other forces, including nature and fate, also dictate the characters’ actions.
Lorca included elements of poetry and traditional Spanish culture in the play, including prominent roles for females.
“This script also has the added component of having non-realistic elements and the use of heightened language,” said Drew Hampton, assistant professor of theatre arts and Blood Wedding’s director and sound designer. “Our students, and as an artist myself, will be challenged by this material, and that excites me.”
“Lorca’s Blood Wedding incorporates a lot of poetry and often switches between regular speaking patterns and poetry,” explained Mattie Alexander, a senior theatre arts and mass communications double major from Midwest City, Okla., who plays Leonardo’s Wife. “This is also one of the challenges of the play, but the poetry element will be a very different experience for audiences. I am excited for the audience to experience that.”
Blood Wedding addresses themes of death, revenge, fate and consequences. These dark tones allow actors to explore the power of emotion and learn how to convey that to audiences, Hampton noted. The cast also learned how to leave such powerful emotions on the stage after performances.
“I hope the audience will take away an experience of witnessing raw emotion on stage,” Alexander said. “It is very easy for actors to get caught up in projection, articulation and, in general, just a more presentational type of performance. Drew has directed us to stay away from this sort of acting and to just allow ourselves to be real characters on stage so that the audience doesn’t feel like they are watching a play. They are watching something real.”
“To prepare for a show with dark themes you have to be very aware of where you need to take yourself in order to reach a certain emotion,” said Dylan Blackwood, a sophomore musical theatre major from Walnut Ridge, Ark., playing Bridegroom. “You should know your own mind and how far you can take yourself. We have a cool down after every performance and rehearsal to ensure that our mental state as the performer returns to normal.”
“I hope audiences’ response to the production is that it’s well executed, artistically pleasing and thought-provoking, that we capture the dark themes of the play in the same elegant, artistic way the script does,” Hampton explained. “Conflict creates tension and, ideally, some of that tension goes out into the audience, activating their thoughts and emotions.”
This year, Ouachita’s Department of Theatre Arts is reviving several productions in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Verser Theatre. Blood Wedding was originally performed during the 1968-69 school year, and a reception for former cast and crew members from the original show will be held in the lobby of Verser following the Saturday night performance in honor of the 50th anniversary year.
Blood Wedding opens Wednesday, Nov. 1, at 8 p.m. Additional performances will take place Nov. 2-4 and 6 at 7:30 p.m. A matinee performance will take place on Sunday, Nov. 5, at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 each and can be purchased at www.obu.edu/boxoffice or at the Jones Performing Arts Center Box Office weekdays from 1-5 p.m. For more information, contact the box office at (870) 245-5555 during business hours.
By Katie Smith
October 16, 2017
Other cast members include:
Lead crew members include: