INTAR's ambitious centennial salute to Spanish playwright Federico Garcia Lorca, "100 Years of Lorca," officially begins Nov. 10 with the opening of his most famous tragedy, The House of Bernarda Alba.
Posthumously produced in Buenos Aires in 1945, after Lorca was slain by a firing squad in the Spanish Civil War, Bernarda Alba will play in repertory through Nov. 29 with the romantic, dreamy As Five Years Pass , and the farce, The Shoemaker's Prodigious Wife, all representing the variety of the work of Lorca (1898-1936).
The rep stagings opened in previews Oct. 27. Official openings for the three titles are Nov. 10 (Bernarda Alba, directed by INTAR artistic director Max Ferra), Nov. 12 (Five Years, directed by Michael John Garces) and Nov. 14 (Shoemaker's Prodigious Wife, directed by Ferra). All performances will be in English. The translations are newly commissioned.
Lorca worked during the feverish period of 1920s and '30s Spanish art, exploring surrealism, music, symbolism, Spanish folk history, painting and more. He was associated with a touring troupe called La Barraca and performed Spanish classics for farmers and peasants before penning his own works, including the poetic, passionate Yerma and Blood Wedding.
(Coincidentally, New York City's Repertorio Espanol, the Spanish-language troupe, is staging Yerma in repertory throughout its season at the Gramercy Arts Theatre. Call (212) 889-2850 for Repertorio Espanol information.) INTAR is devoted to Hispanic works and operates in its own theatre, the Hispanic American Arts Center, at 420 W. 42nd St. in New York City. The space is also often used by independent companies and producers.
The "100 Years of Lorca" company includes Denise Casano, Miriam Cruz, Oscar de la Fe Colon, Doris DiFarnecio, Yetta Gottesman, Mercedes Herrero, Sol Miranda, Alba Oms, Carlos Orizondo, Carlos Rafart, Virginia Rambal, Bill Torres and Marilyn Torres. Shelli Aderman is production stage manager.
Designers are Van Santwood (sets), Katherine Roth (costumes), Robert Williams (lighting), Johnna Doty (sound) and Ralph Lee (puppets and masks).
Spanish playwright Fernando Arrabal will lecture about the literary and historical context of Lorca's work at three New York City-area schools: St. John's (Nov. 9), Barnard College (Nov. 16) and Boricua College (Nov. 23). The lectures are in Spanish with simultaneous English translation.
Tickets are $25 per play or $45 for all three. Call (212) 279-4200 for information.
-- By Kenneth Jones