STORY BY MOLLY ADAMSON
This past weekend, the Drake Theater program put on “Blood Wedding,” a Spanish play written by Federico Garcia Lorca.
The play is about a bride and groom and the events before and after their wedding.
It is revealed in the first act that the bride had a previous lover, whom she almost married. It turns out that this man is part of the family who killed the groom’s father, which only angers the groom’s mother. After the wedding, the bride ends up running away with her former lover and tragedy ensues.
The actors faced a challenge in putting on this play, because it is a play that does not rely on realism.
Director John Graham, a theater professor at Drake, translated and adapted it.
“The style of the show is unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. Our director was telling us we’re not real people up there, we’re not acting as real people would, that’s not the type of show this is. This isn’t realism, it’s a different kind of style,” said Eric Deutz, a senior majoring in Musical Theatre, who played the role of the Groom. “Getting used to that has been a lot of fun, because as an actor it is often just ‘Get up there and be yourself.’ But with this, I don’t know how many times he said, ‘Stuff you’ve learned about how to be a good actor needs to be thrown out the window. That’s not what we’re doing here.’”
Isabella Taylor, a junior Musical Theatre major, agreed with her fellow actor about the different style.
“I’ve never done anything that would be considered dramatic or tragedy before,” Taylor said. “I’m used to comedy or improv or musicals. So this is completely out of my comfort zone.”
Despite it being out of their comfort zone, the actors still gave it their all.
“I will not look at my phone the entire show or do anything else besides pay attention to what they’re doing on stage, or be on stage or be looking at my script, so that I can stay constantly engaged in the world that we’re creating,” Taylor said. “In a show like this, it’s too hard to leave and then come back into it because then you’ll lose the momentum.”
“The show is exhausting,” Deutz said. “I get done with the show, and every time, it’s hard. I can’t just zone out during the show, like a lot of shows you get into where you can do that. I see it as a real job that I have to put a lot of work into.”
The hard work paid off as audience members enjoyed the play a lot.
“They had so much great energy, and they never let that go, even during the scenes where you couldn’t quite tell what was going on,” said Tali Eisenstadt.
The show is partly in Spanish, which may have led to some audience confusion. But the cast members understood this and tried to compensate for it.
“Our director stressed from the beginning that the number one thing for the audience with this show is that they walk out and realize that they’re feeling like they’ve seen a thing of beauty,” Deutz explained. “The storytelling and what’s being said, that all comes with it, but the most important part, even if they don’t get everything, is that they just saw something beautiful.“
Despite the challenges, both actors appreciated the chance they were getting.
“I was lucky, and I’m very excited to be in the show,” Taylor said.
“(The play) reminded me why I’m in this program, and it reminded me that acting isn’t just something that a person can do in their free time and not put any work or time into it,” Deutz said. “There is a craft here that people train and work for. With this show, because it isn’t that realism style, and there is a specific style that we’re holding to, it takes work. It’s my first time working with this director. He always says ‘realism is for suckers.’ Even for him this play is a different direction. It’s completely new to most of us.“
Even though the actors may have faced a challenge in putting on this show, they tackled it head on and managed to come out on top, with a show that left the audience with the understanding of its beauty.