The ties that unbinds
by Cheryl A. Rice
April 16, 2009 01:00 AM | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Theatre Department at SUNY-New Paltz has presented two plays of Latin origin in as many years, but Theatre professor Anita Gonzalez said that the selections weren't planned that way: "They are quite different in authorship and cultural background. The Promise Keeper was a Brazilian play that was directed with a sense of underclass Brazilian life and culture. It could be considered a part of a diversity initiative with the Theatre Department." She said that the new play, Blood Wedding, which opens this Thursday, April 16, "is a Spanish play that is considered a part of the canon of theatre literature."

Blood Wedding is based on the true story of a bride who runs away from her new husband on their wedding day in order to be with the man she truly loves. It was written in 1932 by Federico García Lorca, and Gonzalez is directing. The English translation being used is by poet Langston Hughes, best-known as one of the distinctive voices of the Harlem Renaissance. "Our production considers the Surrealistic and Symbolist elements of the poetical play text. We chose to use a Langston Hughes translation that communicates the poetry of the American language."

On Sunday, April 19, a pre-performance panel discussion will take place in the Samuel Dorsky Museum's west wing at 1 p.m. Included will be Sarah Wyman, assistant professor of English at SUNY-New Paltz and a Langston Hughes scholar; Lee Connell, a senior at the college who will discuss the gender roles portrayed in the play; Michelle Wood, an assistant professor who, as the author of Translating Milan Kundera, will discuss the aspect of translation in literature; and Patricia Fitzpatrick, an assistant professor of Foreign Languages whose area of expertise is 20th- and 21st-century Peninsular literature, and García Lorca's work in particular. The panel discussion will be free.

"The audience will leave the theatre with a sense of stylized movements and poetical language," promised Gonzalez, "and an emotional connection to the revenge and sensuality that are unbridled through the actions of the characters as they defy the strictures of social rules."

Blood Wedding will be performed at the McKenna Theatre on the SUNY-New Paltz campus. Performances are scheduled for April 16 through 18 and 23 through 25 at 8 p.m. and April 19 and 26 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $16 for the general public and $14 for seniors, students and faculty. Reservations may be made by calling the box office at (845) 255-3880. Alternately, they can be purchased online at

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