Theater Group Offers Tragicomedy Set In 1898 Spain
23, 1999 -- The
University of Virginia Spanish Theater Group, now in its 19th year,
will present its annual spring play at the Helms Theater March 4-7.
This year's performance will be
que Fueron Famosas del Pingajo y la Fandanga," by Spanish playwright
Jose Maria Rodriguez Mendez.
drama revolves around a group of gypsies in Madrid in 1898, the
year Spain was defeated in the Spanish-American War and lost its
empire. Beginning as a comedy, the play ends as a tragedy. The performance
will be in Spanish, with English summaries available.
of the challenges in putting on these popular, amateur productions
has been to find plays with enough characters to give most of the
group members a role, said Spanish professor Fernando Opere, director
and founder of the theater group. "One of the pleasures has been
to work with people without theater experience and discover dramatic
talent," he said.
participating faculty members and students from throughout the Spanish-speaking
world, the group performs plays from different Spanish-speaking
countries. Last year's was from Mexico; the previous year's was
faculty at the University make an effort to incorporate the play
into their curriculum for upper-level classes. Spanish classes in
high schools and colleges throughout Virginia also take advantage
of the opportunity and send buses full of students to the production.
Drama Department is providing welcome technical support to the production,
allowing the Spanish theater group -- about 20 faculty members,
students, former students and staff members -- to focus on their
lines. Opere and his son, Philip, an undergraduate at the University,
will both be on stage for the performance this year.
recent years, the play has gone on tour after its run in Charlottesville.
When "Bodas" closes here this year, the theater group will take
the production to the University of Richmond, Mary Washington College,
Wake Forest University and Washington and Lee University.
on March 4, 5, and 6 will be at 8 p.m. The matinee performance on
March 7 is at 3 p.m. Tickets are on sale now at the Spanish Department
office, 115 Wilson Hall, and, if not sold out before show time,
will be on sale at the door (performances have sold out in advance
in the past). Tickets are $6 for students; $8 for the general public.
more information, call Fernando Opere at (804) 924-4653, or Tico
Braun, long-time theater group member, at (804) 924-6406. Television
reporters should contact the TV News Office at (804) 924-7550.
Charlotte Crystal, (804) 924-6858.