css.php
A Woodcutter playing the flute as audiences are coming in to Roxy. Blood Wedding, AUB Theatre Initiative, Hammana Village, April 2018. Photo Credit: Natalie Hindaoui.
Volume 10

Towards a Crosspollination Dramaturgical Approach: Blood Wedding and No Demand No Supply

In the absence of a developed playwriting tradition, government support, and funding opportunities, and with the presence of prior censorship, theatre-makers in Lebanon find themselves using every accessible artistic method that would get the stories they choose to tell to their audiences. This ongoing exploration leads to creating synthesized dramaturgical approaches, or using the term of British theatre-maker and academic Liz Tomlin “productive cross-pollination.”[i] In what follows I will offer two examples of plays we produced at the Theatre Initiative at the American University of Beirut (AUB) that reflect this cross-pollination dramaturgical approach.

The first is Garcia Lorca’s Blood Wedding (which I directed and Robert Myers produced and was also the dramaturg) performed in a promenade site-specific style during April, 2018, in Hammana, a village on Mount Lebanon for a limited number of audience members. The production offers an example of a dramaturgical approach that combines two ostensibly binary positions: text-based classical theatre and innovative experiments with space. The second example is No Demand No Supply, a devised documentary play that offers a re-reading of Lebanon’s 2016 sex trafficking scandal using interviews, police reports, newspaper articles and sociological studies on prostitution, and joins all within the frame of the proscenium.

Blood Wedding, the first tragedy of Garcia Lorca’s rural trilogy written in 1932, dramatizes a true story that took place in 1928 Spain in a linear plot of 3 acts representing themes of feuds, repressive social structures and suppressed bodily desires. The play opens with the bridegroom’s mother lamenting her lost son and husband in a violent feud with the Felix family as her son reveals to her his wish to marry The Bride, a young woman who was previously engaged to Leonardo Felix. We are then introduced to Leonardo, who is now unhappily married to another woman, has a child, and is expecting another. The father of the Bride and the Bridegroom’s mother seal the arrangements for the wedding by discussing merging their properties for their descendants’ sake. Act two begins with a heated conversation between Leonardo and The Bride as she is preparing for her wedding. The couple declares their intense love for one another and they run away together in the next scene during the wedding ceremony. Leonardo’s pregnant wife announces their escape and The Mother encourages her son, The Groom, to chase them. A surreal atmosphere in Act 3 breaks the realistic style of Act 1 and 2, where we are introduced to symbolic characters in a forest. Three Woodcutters speak about the scandal, offering three distinct societal responses to the events. The Moon appears, expressing its thirst for blood, joined by a Beggar foretelling death. The Beggar takes the Groom to his fate under the light of the Moon. Meanwhile The Bride and Leonardo are expressing their endless love and lust for one another. A duel with knives ensues where both men perish. The last scene in the play joins The Bride with The Mother both lamenting their fates and their losses.

| | | Next → |
Need help with the Commons? Visit our
help page
Send us a message
Skip to toolbar