by Emma Gordon
The usually open Cabaret space at 721 Broadway was shrouded in billowing airy curtains. The black floor now sports beige and gray paint creating a stone floor effect and the area is boxed in by two long airy sheets. The audience sits on the far side of the room four rows deep and soon the lights dim and the actors take the stage.
The story is one of love, of revenge, of family pride, and betrayal. This past Thursday through Saturday the Meisner Studio’s third year students put up a production of Blood Wedding, a Spanish play written by Federico Garcia Lorca and translated by Michael Dewell and Carmen Zapata. The play follows characters who have been ravaged by family feuds and bloodshed as they prepare for a wedding, the last remaining son of one family to a girl who was once engaged to the son of the family that destroyed her fiancé’s. Through beautiful folk songs and wondrous poetic dialogue you are taken through the heartbreak and betrayal that the wedding gives onto and you’re left with a feeling of despair over what has become.
Set in the second floor cabaret space in the Tisch building, the play is given a truly intimate feeling as the actors are not only on the same plane as the audience but also only inches from them. When the space above the audience is used as a fourth wall space and the players are so close, one is truly drawn into the production and the feel of the story.
All of the performances were incredibly powerful in the characters they had to portray. A grieving mother who has yet to forgive the murderers of her family in Eva Topolovec, an eager bridegroom in Peter Williamson, the troubled bride to be in Janessa Floyd and even the eerie presence of the Moon by Buchannan Highhouse and the being of death in Joeley Pulver. The entire cast in every character they brought to life was absolutely stunning, powerful, and truly alive and real in their emotions.
One felt Caroline Grogan’s pain as the cheated wife, or the anger of the mother in Lucy Livingston by the furious nature of the husband in Azzy Coppin. Felt the eerie sensation of the woods through the woodcutters, Casey O’Neill, Brian Breen, and Lucy Livingston and felt the excitement of waiting for the wedding from Helena Farhi and the pain of a father through Nate Shinners.
Though there were moments when the play itself seemed to dragged, particularly in the mother’s constant reminder of how her son and husband and family is dead, the show as a whole brought about fear and longing from the audience. Fear of what is to happen yet longing for wanting something to come about.
Overall with the use of the original music for the text the show as a whole created a very real, yet unrealistic world somewhere in Spain and through the talent and passion brought by these young actors, the audience was able to travel there as well.
Emma Gordon is a Contributing Writer. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org