How students will experiment with “Blood Wedding”

Jake Tully

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This weekend at the Experimental Theater of the Valley Performing Art Center, be prepared to abandon any preconceptions of theater with CSUN’s production of Blood Wedding.

Under the helm of director Chris Jackson, the play promises to stay true to the surreal nature of the Spanish drama by Frederico Lorca, while providing a perspective that defies zeitgeists and evokes an emotional response from the audience.

“A piece like this production uses the same tools and techniques as traditional theater but in different ways,” said Jackson. “We may burst into song but it’s not necessarily the way one might be accustomed to bursting into song. We’re having a theatrical experience of the human condition.”

The play, which is often defined as a rural tragedy, incorporates themes of death, distrust, dark omens and foreboding doom. Centered around a newly married couple that has wed into a world of feuding and rage, the two lovers must survive in surroundings that purport dark omens and sorrow. The abstract nature of the piece makes it difficult to survey the main plot further, however CSUN’s production will no doubt elucidate the production on the stage.

Blood Wedding, originally written in the 1930’s, was a very socially conscious and progressive piece of experimental theater, said Jackson. As opposed to presenting something safe or orthodox, Jackson said her goal is to maintain the surrealism of Lorca’s work while still achieving an abstract perspective that speaks to the play’s themes.

“This production is looking at what is underneath,” said Jackson. “What is underneath the social propriety? A lot of traditional theater is about having an excellent representation of things that we’re comfortable with. This show is about evoking a visceral response from the audience through means of the abnormal or impolite gut feeling.”

According to Jackson, the actors are very aware of the stage and their surroundings within the confines of the theater. Jackson said that this awareness will transfer to the audience, culminating in a true group theater experience.

Jackson also spoke about Lorca’s theory of “duende,” a theory of art in which one’s inner emotions are inspired and beckoned out regardless of said emotions being appropriate. Jackson said this production of Blood Wedding will focus heavily on the theory of duende and how that plays into people’s emotions both on stage and off.

Overall, Jackson said that experimental theater isn’t to be looked at or treated as a subdivision of art that is inaccessible or strange.

“We’re not necessarily inviting you out to play that is going to lay it all out for you,” said Jackson. “We’re inviting you out to see parts of yourself. I would invite the CSUN community to allow this play the same way the allow music. Allow it to be a little bit grand, but really, just give it a chance.”

More information on the production is available at http://www.csun.edu/mike-curb-arts-media-communication/theatre/blood-wedding