Washington, DC – GALA Hispanic Theatre begins its ¡Viva los 40! anniversary season with the world premiere of a new adaptation of Yerma, a dramatic tragic poem written in 1934 by the renowned Spanish poet and writer Federico García Lorca. Yerma will be performed in Spanish with English surtitles from September 10 through October 4, 2015 at GALA Theatre, 3333 14th Street, NW, Washington, D.C., one block away from the Columbia Heights metro station on the Green/Yellow lines. Discounted parking is available behind the theater at the Giant Food garage.
In this new adaptation by the Spanish playwright Fernando J. López, the cast has been reduced to five characters: Yerma, Juan, Victor, La Vieja Dolores and María. This concentration of characters heightens the oppression of a loveless marriage, forbidden desires and repressive society faced by Yerma in her rural environment and underscores how even today women face the tension between motherhood and their role in society. A playwright who has had numerous productions in Spain, López is also a published novelist and a noted scholar in Europe and the United States.
Press Night and Noche de GALA is on Saturday, September 12, under the gracious patronage of the Ambassador of Spain Ramón Gil-Casares. This production is supported by the Embassy of Spain in Washington, DC, SPAIN arts & culture, Acción Cultural Española through its Programa de Internacionalización de la Cultural Española (PICE), and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Students matinees are on September 23, 24, 25 and 30, and on October 1 and 2 at 10:30 am.
ABOUT FEDERICO GARCİA LORCA
Federico García Lorca was born in Fuente Vaqueros, Granada, Spain in 1898. One of Spain’s greatest contributions to the world of theater, García Lorca was a poet, dramatists, lyricist and painter whose distinction was his ability to combine techniques of the internationalist symbolist movement with a strong sense of the peasant traditions of his native Andalusia. A part of a group of budding artists that included some of the Generation of ’27, he was a close friend of the renowned painter Salvador Dalí and filmmaker Luis Buñuel. Executed by Fascist militamen on August 18, 1936, at the onset of the Spanish Civil War, García Lorca’s death ranks as one of the most tragic consequences of the Franco regime.
García Lorca’s first play, El maleficio de la mariposa/The Butterfly’s Evil Spell, was staged in Madrid in 1920, but was laughed off stage by an unappreciative audience after only four performances. He would later claim that Mariana Pineda, a poetic romance piece about a national heroine that opened to great acclaim in Barcelona in 1927, was his first play.
In 1928, after an emotional crisis, García Lorca traveled to New York City, where he wrote the surreal Poeta en Nueva York (1929). His most famous plays are his three tragedies, all dealing with passionate women longing to have their needs fulfilled against the traditional honor codes and customs of rigid Andalusian society: Blood Wedding (1933), Yerma (1934), and The House of Bernarda Alba (1936).
ABOUT THE PRODUCTION
Yerma is directed by José Luis Arellano García, an acclaimed stage and television director from Madrid. Since 2009, he has directed El caballero de Olmedo, Ay, Carmela! and Cabaret Barroco, among others, at GALA.
Featured in the cast are Spanish actors Mabel del Pozo as Yerma and Iker Lastra as Victor. A stage, film and television actor, Del Pozo has appeared in many plays in Spain, including Manlet, Excalibur and El hidalgo caballero de la Mancha. Lastra, who appeared with Del Pozo in the television series Hospital Central, has performed in more than 30 theater, television and film productions, including El lenguaje de tus ojos and Testigo de cargo. He also appeared in the popular series Sin tetas no hay paraíso.
Also appearing in Yerma are New York actors Eric Robledo (Juan) from Mexico, who is making his debut at GALA and Natalia Miranda-Guzmán (María) from Chile; and Luz Nicolás (Viaja Dolores), from Spain and now from the Washington area. Miranda-Guzmán appeared in GALA’s acclaimed House of the Spirits and last season’s Los empeños de una casa. Nicolás appeared last season in Cancún, Mariela en el desierto, and Los empeños de una casa.
Scenic and costume designs are by Silvia de Marta from Madrid who is working on her first production at GALA. Lighting design is by Christopher Annas-Lee, who designed Los empeños de una casa and Mariela en el desierto last season. Properties are by Alicia Tessari, who designed for Las Polacas-The Jewish Girls of Buenos Aires, Mariela en el desierto and Los empeños de una casa. Kathryn Dooley is Stage Manager. Ártemis López is Production Manager, Reuben Rosenthal is Technical Director, and Hugo Medrano is Producer.