April 17, 2008
Contact: Caroline Jenkins Hanna
Director of Media Relations
AMHERST, Mass.—Amherst College undergraduates and students from the Pioneer Valley Performing Arts (PVPA) Public Charter School and Amherst Regional High School will stage in Spanish Bodas de sangre, a play by Federico García Lorca, on Saturday and Sunday, April 26 and 27, at 4:30 p.m. in Cole Assembly Room of the college’s Converse Hall. Sponsored by Amherst College’s Center for Community Engagement, the production is the PVPA’s third annual Spanish language theater production and a new initiative for learning language through performance from the Amherst College Spanish Department. It is free and open to the public.
“This play will empower high school students who speak Spanish at home but have not read much in Spanish or used their home language as a vehicle for artistic projection to experience their language skills in new ways,” said production coordinator Benigno Sánchez-Eppler from PVPA, who is also a visiting lecturer for the Amherst College Spanish Department. “It will provide an intensive immersion experience for advanced Spanish language learners, and mix high schoolers, college students and people who are primarily interested in the language experience with those who may be mainly attracted to the theater.”
In Bodas de sangre, Lorca explores the dangers of leaving smoldering passions unresolved, as well as the dangers of mixing marriage choices and economic priorities. The author’s poetry allows members of the audience to arrive at diametrically opposed cautionary tales.
The CCE is sponsoring the collaboration, which links academic and service work at the college with local public schools and the community.
Mónica Bel López and Arturo Romero Pereda, this year’s Amherst College visiting teaching assistants from the University of Barcelona, selected the text and organized the college students. Sánchez-Eppler provided production coordination, drawing in student performers from PVPA and Amherst Regional High School. Dora Arreola, artistic director of Mujeres en Ritual Danza-Teatro (México) and a graduate student and performance director in the UMass Theater Department, is the director of acting and choreography.
Reporters and/or photographers wishing to file stories or photos prior to April 26 are welcome to attend a dress rehearsal of the play at 4 p.m. on April 23 in Cole. A graphic is available upon request.