UBC Publications

UBC Publications

UBC Publications

Yerma Jan 11, 1989

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University of British Columbia
Frederic Wood Theatre
Federico Garcia Lorca
Directed By
Catherine Caines
January 11-21
The Frederic Wood Theatre Magazine
A Seasonal Publication of University Productions Inc.
For further information regarding this
and upcoming publications call:
(604) 732-7708 .^..v'^r'M,
Federico Garcia Lorca:
A Brief Chronology
1898, June 5th.
Federico Garcia Lorca born at Fuentevaqueros, near Granada.
Published his first book, Impresions y paisajes (prose).
Production of his first play, El maleficio de la mariposa in Madrid.
Publication of Libro depoemas.
Law degree, University of Granada.
Publication of Canciones (Songs). Mariana Pineda produced with
success in Barcelona and Madrid. Garcia Lorca's drawings attract
attention at exhibition in Barcelona gallery.
Publication of Romancero gitano (Gypsy Ballads).
Trip to the United States and Cuba; gives lectures. Composition of
poems of Poeta en Nueva York.
On his return, La zapatera prodigiosa (The Shoemaker's Prodigious
Wife) a success in Madrid.
Publication of Poema del cante jondo.
Founder and director of the traveling university-theatre, La Barraca.
Bodas de sangre (Blood Wedding) and Don Perlimplin performed in
Madrid; to Argentina to lecture; directed his own plays and the classics
in Buenos Aires.
YERMA produced in Madrid.
The puppet play Retablillo de Don Cristobal produced in Madrid; Llanto
por Ignacio Sanchez Mejias published; Dona Rosita la soltera produced
in Barcelona; finishes a book of sonnets and announces that La
destruccion de Sodoma is nearly finished.
Reads El publico for friends.
August. When the victorious right-wing forces occupied Granada at the
beginning of the Spanish Civil War, Federico Garcia Lorca was
executed and his body thrown into an unmarked grave. Federico Garcia Lorca
Little song of the first desire
In the green morning
I wished to be a heart.
A heart.
And in the ripe afternoon
I wished to be a nightingale.
A nightingale.
Soul, put on orange color.
Soul, put on orange color.
In the living morning
I wished to be I.
A heart.
And in the waning afternoon
I wished to be my voice.
A nightingale.
Soul, put on orange color,
Soul, put on orange color!
Song of the Dry Orange-Tree
Cut for me the shades
Free me from the martyrdom
of seeing myself without fruitage.
Why was I born between mirrors?
Day reflects me
and the night copies me
in all its stars.
I wish to live without seeing myself.
And ants and downy seeds,
I will dream that these are my
leaves and my birds.
Cut for me the shades.
Free me from the martyrdom
of seeing myself without fruitage.
The leave-taking
/// die
leave the balcony open.
The boy eats oranges
From my balcony I see it.
The reaper cuts the wheat.
From my balcony I feel it.
If I die,
leave the balcony open! YERMA
In order of appearance
Yerma Barbara Cormack
Juan Jason Smith
Maria Allison Sanders
Victor Michael Cavers
Miranda, an old woman Susan C. Bertoia
Isabela, a young girl Sheila Stowell
Monserat, a young girl Mireille Chambers
Luisa Sandra Birkenhead
Pilar Sara Levine
Juanita Lisa Beley
Isabela Mindy Forrester
Rosa Trish Williams
Paula Jo Howitz
Magdalena Kathleen Duborg
Rosita Johane Meehan
Conchita, a woman Eliza Green-Moncur
Dolores Laura K. Burke
Carmen, a young woman Michelle Porter
By Federico Garcia Lorca
Translated by
James Graham-Lujan and
Richard L. O'Connell
Jos6 Kurt Eby
Estefan Tom Shulte
Miguel Kelly Aisenstat
Marco John Stefaniuk
Garcia Brian Irwin
Marcela Jo Howitz
Emanuela Trish Williams
Carmela Martina Smyth
Filipa Diana Stein
Consuela Laara Sadiq
Catalana Suzanne Buchan-Grieder
Antonio, the Male Mask Phil Barnett
Miguela, the Female Mask Michele Melland
Act I Scene I - Anytime
Act I Scene II - One year later
Act II Scene I - Two years later
Act II Scene II - One month later
Set Design By
Robert Gardiner
Directed By
Catherine Caines
Costume Design By
Mara Gottler
Lighting Design By
Kairiin Bright
Technical Director Ian Pratt
Properties Sherry Milne
Costume Supervisor Chelsea Moore
Set Construction Don Griffiths, John Henrickson,
Robert Moser
Cutter Jean Driscoll-Bell
Stage Manager Nick Davis
Assistant Stage Manager Nik von Schulmann
Assistant Director Tracy Holmes
Assistant Scene Designer Blanka Jurenka
Costume Design Assistant Jill Buckham
Scenic Artist Bill Rasmussen
Lighting Operator Erin Jarvis
Sound Operator Tania Lazib
Wardrobe Mistress Catherine King
Make Up Nick Davis
Stage Crew Nancy Lyons, Glen Winter
Costume Assistants... Heike Anderson, Nancy Canning, Colin Lim
Scene Painter J. Cricket Price
Properties Assistant Heather Kent
Lighting Crew Glen Winter
Original Music Tracy Holmes
SoundScape Susan C. Bertoia
Movement coach Trish Williams
Guitarists... .Brian Irwin, Suzanne Buchan-Grieder
Box Office Carol Fisher, Linda McRae, Jason Smith
House Manager Jill Buckham
Business Manager Marjorie Fordham
Production Robert Eberle
Regent Heating Ltd.
is produced by special arrangement with
Samuel French (Canada) Ltd.
-There will be one 15 minute intermission.	 The Theatre of Lorca
Lorca is an original creator, if by that is understood to have
imagined a world and a mode of expression which are inimitable. In
Spanish literature he occupies his own particular place, and no one
has known how, or been able, to follow him. He may well be an
inspiration for other artists (the film/ballet Blood Wedding by Carlos
Saura is an example), but his works in their entirety elude possible
imitators and create difficulties for criticism.
Lorca is a member of the generation of 1927, a group of writers -
Alberti, Cernuda, Aleixandre, Guillen, Alonso, among others - who
gave Spanish poetry a brilliance perhaps unequaled since the
seventeenth century. The group appeared at a privileged moment:
before them, the great poets of the previous generation - Unamuno,
Machado, Valle Inclan, Juan Ramon Jimenez -, who are today the
indisputable classics of Spanish modernism, had already paved the
way; ahead of them, the group had the european avant-garde,
particularly surrealism; and uniting the two, a tradition that for them
was essential: the hermetic baroque style of Gongora, the formal and
intellectual precision of Quevedo, and the popular dimension of the
theatre of Lope de Vega (Lorca organized a travelling theatre group,
"la Barraca", and brought to the villages the works of the classics).
This tension between a tradition, immediate or distant, and its
assimilation to the avant-garde permeates the poetry of the members
of the Generation of 1927 despite the differences between them. It is
not surprising that many years later, in 1977, Aleixandre accepted
the Nobel Prize for literature in the name of his colleagues: of those
who died during the Spanish Civil War (Lorca) or in exile
(Cernuda), or of those who continued their work in other countries
(Alberti, Guillen) or in the restrictive space of the Francoist
dictatorship (Alonso, and Aleixandre himself).
Lorca (with Alberti) is the one who best represents the union of the
popular spirit, the cultivated verbal ostentation of Gongora and the
experimentalism of the avant-garde; who distributed his energy
equally between poetry and theatre, and who had the most unified
vision of art (he was a musician and admirer of Falla, a painter and
close friend of Dali). From this complexity comes the fascination his
works arouse in readers and spectators, and the difficulty of
defining them in a simple way.
Even at the risk of falling into such danger, we can point out some
of the characteristics of Lorca's work.
In the first place, there is his tragic vision, which is manifested in
the opposition between the most profound impulses of the individual
(we could speak of instincts) and the circumstances that prevent their
fulfillment. Synthesizing even more: the opposition between love
and death: love, always charged with a strong sexual connotation, as
an affirmation of that which is most vital, free, and regenerative, and
death as the fatal destiny of love, which in Lorca's theatre is
exteriorized progressively until it adopts a social face.
Another aspect is the dramatism that impregnates all of his work and
blurs any absolute differentiation between poetry and theatre. His
poetry has an indisputable dramatic dimension: one has only to read
those condensed dramas which are the poems of the Romancero
Gitano, or the implied dialogistic structure of the Llanto por
Ignacio Sanchez Mejias (Ohana has composed a cantata on this
elegy). Similarly, in his theatrical pieces, the border disappears
between prose and verse, between the referential word and the
suggestive or symbolic expression, between the recreation of
popular language and individual, unique linguistic invention, to
which we may add the concept of character as "voice" and situation
as "stanza". Indeed, Yerma has the subtitle "Tragic Poem".
A quality of Lorca's theatre is the construction of his imaginary
world on various (apparently contradictory) levels: a dramatic
texture in which the "documentary" surface of reality is projected
into a social, economic and cultural context, is confined within the limits of a poetic archetype, and is given a tragic dimension in which
the figures in conflict, moved by a single passion, fulfill their
For example, in Yerma, the maternal passion of the protagonist
leads to tragedy, to an absolute negation, to the fulfillment of her
name ("yerma" means uninhabited, barren land); the image that
sustains the tragedy is archetypal: the woman is the earth, the man is
the laborer, the child is the fruit and renewal of life; the tragic
conditionings are economic and cultural - possession of the land,
typical of agricultural societies and a common context of Lorca's last
plays; blood relations, the concepts of legitimacy and honor, family
relationships... The fable that develops this complex is a "case",
often authentic, exaggerated by a popular imagination that is
melodramatic and sensational: the case of the wife who kills her
husband, or of the girl who commits suicide for love (The House of
Bernarda Alba), or of the bride who runs away with her lover on her
wedding day (Blood Wedding)...
More concentrated in its artistic conception and in its meaning than
Blood Wedding, but without reaching the almost conventional form
of The House of Bernarda Alba and its economic determinism
(which takes on the role of death against the rights and impulses of
love), Yerma continues to confound critics.
Some years ago, the celebrated staging by Victor Garcia, praised
around the world, tried to accentuate the poetic level of the tragedy: a
canvas, constantly changing form, allowed the figures to move as if
in the air, appearing and disappearing in a space which consisted of
their spoken words. It was a novel production, without doubt, but it
left out that which realism tends to emphasize, and is proof once
again of the difficulties of the theatre of Lorca.
Isaac Rubio
Dr. Isaac Rubio teaches in the Department of Hispanic and Italian
Studies at The Univeristy of British Columbia.
Festival Study Tour
Ashland, Oregon
June 19-25,1989
the Vancouver Lecture Series
'Page and Stage'
May 3-June 14, 1989
By UBC Professors
For Further Information
contact: The UBC Centre For
Continuing Education
Creative Arts Program
222-5254 ■
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The Frederic Wood Theatre Magazine
A Seasonal Publication of University Productions Inc.
For further information regarding this
and upcoming publications call:
By George F. Walker
Directed By Robin Nichol
February 7-11, 1989
Henry IV, Part 1
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March 15-25, 1989
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