This spring’s theatre production, “Devotion to the Cross” opens on Thursday, April 15. The play was written by Pedro Calderón de la Barca, a writer, poet and dramatist from the Spanish Golden Age, and embodies the full sense of drama that Calderón so often conveyed.
“Calderón is a great dramatist, but his work is rarely presented in the United States today,” says Robert Gross, professor of theatre and director of this production. “I thought we should take the opportunity to explore his genius and vision of the world, which is deeply grounded in the beliefs of the Counterreformation.” The play is rooted in religion, and is one that explores “a world on great extremes-sin and salvation, exaltation and despair.”
The story depicts the saga of two lovers, whose plot only thickens with each new scene. The shocking revelations include finding a long-lost brother, becoming a nun, a bandit, a cross-dressing serial killer and a saint. The leading characters are: Eusebio, a young gentleman whose origins are shrouded in mystery (Eric Hambury ’13); the young woman who falls in love with him, despite her family’s opposition (Bevin O’Connor ’12); and Curcio, her father, a nobleman of reduced circumstances (Jordan Youngmann ’10).
“As you can see, it is a ‘Romeo and Juliet’ situation, but one in a world of pronounced spirituality and mystery,” says Gross.
This year’s cast also includes Daphney Etienne ’12, Maeve Keeton ’12, Grace “G.K.” Lyttle ’10, Eric Mishkin ’10, Steven Owens ’10, Johnathan Patterson ’11 and Henry “Max” Pitts ’12.
The HWS Theatre Department tries to present a classical drama each year. Two years ago, they presented Euripides’ “The Phoenician Women;” last year they performed Ibsen’s “John Gabriel Borkman.”
The performances of “Devotion to the Cross” will be held on April 15, 16 and 17 at 7 p.m. in the Bartlett Theatre in Coxe Hall. Admission is free for HWS students; general admission is $5.