Pulitzer Prize winner Nilo Cruz’s “Lorca in a Green Dress”
“Among the works I’ve already produced I don’t have any favorites. I’m in love with the ones I haven’t written yet.”
Those words were spoken by Federico Garcia Lorca not long before his murder in 1936 at the hands of the brutal, dictatorial forces that were to rule Spain for the next 40 years. The mourning for Lorca – an innovative poet, playwright, stage director, advocate for the poor and musician extraordinaire – and his unwritten works continues to this day.
Launched at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War with Lorca’s death, his eulogy continues to be written with the same tremendous creative force that defined Lorca’s own life.
In Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Nilo Cruz’s 2003 play, “Lorca in a Green Dress,” Lorca suddenly finds himself face-to-face with the afterlife, where the inhabitants he encounters take him on a by-the-seat-of-the-pants journey through the events of his highly creative but all-too-short life.
This fall, Assistant Professor of Theatre Lisa Black will direct Nilo Cruz’s play “Lorca in a Green Dress.” Performances are at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 23, 24 and 25 in the Bartlett Theatre.
“It’s a madcap and grotesque play,” says Black, who last spring directed the highly successful “Arabian Nights.” “It’s about the assassination of a great literary figure-for what? Because of his pen? His success? His homosexuality? Because he was the son of a rich man who became a poet of the people, an advocate for the poor? These are the questions the play raises and that still surround Lorca’s death more than 70 years later.
“Just a few weeks ago the Lorca family finally agreed to allow his probable burial site to be disturbed at the request of the families of the other three men – two bullfighters and a school teacher – who were shot along with Lorca. Though it’s about accepting death, the play is also a raucous celebration of Lorca’s life and work.”
“Lorca in a Green Dress” – the set of which is inspired by the surrealist art of Salvador Dalí, a close friend of Lorca’s – is filled with flamenco and Lorca’s own poetry and is, in its way, homage to the theatrical innovations in his plays, which he considered “impossible” to produce during his lifetime.
“Lorca was a master of poetry, plays, theater, drawing and song and borrowed the rules of one form to give freedom to another,” says Black. “We hope to do the same. Lorca called for theater to be ‘poetic, confrontational, fantastic and real.’ Cruz’s play is that.”
Tickets are free for students, $5 for the general public; and are available at Area Records, Don’s Own Flowers and the College Store. They will also be given away on Finger Lakes Radio.
Note: The play is recommended for mature audiences.
Marcelle Empey ’09 – Annapolis, Md……………Lorca as a Woman
Vienna Farlow ’12 – Aurora, N.Y…………..Lorca in a Green Dress
Jessamyn Martinez ’12 – Bronx, N.Y…………..Lorca with Blood
Steven R. Owens ’09 – Needham, Mass…………..Lorca in a White Suit
Denisse Polanco ’11 – Bronx, N.Y…………..Flamenco Dancer
Lindsey Polishook ’11 – Boston, Mass…………..The General
Jade Sank ’12 – Kinnelon, N.J…………..Lorca in Bicycle Pants
Gabriela Mrvova………….Outside Eye
Ralph Dressler and Bill Burd………….Technical Directors
Mary Zebell………….Costume Designer
Liz Liebman ’11 and Mianna Molinari ’10………….Stage Managers
Jessica Cohen ’10………….Lighting Designer