WORLDPLAY 2015

February 8th:  Love Letters to Stalin  by Juan Mayorga  (Spain) 

                                                              Translated by María E. Padilla

                                                                  Directed by Mercedes Bátiz-Benét

February 15th:  Oxygen  by Ivan Vyrypaev  (Russia)                                                                                                           Translated by Sasha Dugdale

                                               Directed by Emma Zabloski

February 22nd:  Yerma  by Federico García Lorca   

                                                 Adapted & translated by Ursula Rani Sarma         

                                               Directed by Kathleen Greenfield 

 

March 1st:  Lieutenant Nun  by Elaine Ávila

                     Directed by Mercedes Bátiz-Benét & Kathleen Greenfield

                             

                           

                      

WORLDPLAY 2015

February 8 @ 8 pm:  Love Letters to Stalin

                                     by Juan Mayorga  (Spain)

                                                  Translated by María E. Padilla
                                       Directed by Mercedes Bátiz-Benét 

Love Letters To Stalin  

On 18 April 1930, the Russian writer Mikhail Bulgakov received a personal phone call from Stalin. The two men talked about the censorship of Bulgakov’s work, but ultimately nothing was resolved. Cartas de amor a Stalin (Love Letters to Stalin) imagines the devastating effects of that phone call on the writer, as it explores the complex relationship between power and art.

Juan Mayorga is one of the most important Spanish playwrights of his generation.  His first play, Siete Hombres Buenos (Seven Good Men), was awarded second place in the Marques de Bradomin Prize in 1989.  Since this first accolade, Mayorga has won a series of national awards, most prominently, Spain’s National Theatre Prize, which he was awarded in 2007 for services to Spanish theatre.  Mayorga’s work has been translated into many languages and performed widely throughout the world.  In addition to his role as playwright, Juan Mayorga has adapted versions of classical dramas for the Spanish stage.  In January, 2007 he provided a version of Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People for Madrid’s Centro Dramatico Nacional (CDN), for which he also adapted King Lear in February, 2008.  He was a founding member of – and continues to collaborate with – the El Astillero theatre company that was established in 1993.  In 1998 he began teaching dramaturgy, history of thought, and sociology at the Real Escuela Superior de Arte Dramatico in Madrid.

Mercedes Bátiz-Benét is a multi-disciplinary artist, writer, and award-winner director. She was born and raised in Mexico and in 1997 she moved to Canada. She holds a BFA in Creative Writing in both poetry and drama, and a BA Honours in Philosophy from the University of Victoria, as well as a Diploma in Film Production from the Pacific Film & New Media Academy. Productions of her work in-clude Faust: Ignis Fatuus, at the international festival Faust-fest, Shining Through, Lágrimas Crueles, El Jinete, A Mariachi Opera, Cruel Tears/Lágrimas Crueles, a Puente and Blue Bridge Repertory Theatre co-production, and as co-writer, The Umbrella, The Secret Sorrow of Hatchet Jack Macphee for The Caravan Farm Theatre, The Erotic Anguish of Don Juan with the Old Trout Puppet Workshop, and Puente Theatre’s Gruff. In 2014, Mercedes won the Canadian Stage Award for Direction at the SummerWorks Festival with her play El Jinete, A Mariachi Opera. She is the poetry, fiction, and non-fiction editor at Bayeux Arts, and her first children’s book Lunar is forthcoming later this year. Mercedes is the artistic director of Puente Theatre.

February 15th:  Oxygen  by Ivan Vyrypaev  (Russia)                                                                 Translated by Sasha Dugdale

                                               Directed by Emma Zabloski

 

Oxygen  

Russian playwright Ivan Vyrypaev is a proponent of the experimental school of New Drama where plot and character are no longer the basis of drama. New Drama playwrights often interview subjects and use their words verbatim as dialogue, attempting to knit a semblance of character from the words with the action happening not on stage, but in recollection. Such plays have become fairly common over the years, but Oxygen takes it a few levels further. Conceived, in the author’s words, as a “live concept album,” Oxygenis not exactly a play, but not exactly performance art either. Though scripted, it feels like a concert. 

Ivan Vyrypaev (born August 3, 1974) is a Russian playwright, screenwriter, film director, actor, and art director of the Praktika Theatre in Moscow.

Poet, playwright, and translator Sasha Dugdale was born in Sussex, England. She has worked as a consultant for theater companies in addition to writing her own plays. From 1995 to 2000, she worked for the British Council in Russia. She is author of the poetry collections The EstateNotebook, and Red House, and has translated Russian poetry and drama, including Anton Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard.

Emma Zabloski is Ottawa-valley born and raised, with French-Ukrainian roots. As artistic director of Zopyra Theatre, she creates original, intimate, and multidisciplinary theatrical events that engage the audience as active creative participants. In Victoria, her work has appeared at the Belfry Theatre's 2012 Spark Festival and at Theatre SKAM's Bike Ride in 2012 and 2012. Her artistic journey has brought her to the University of Ottawa to study theatre, to Poland to train with the Grotowski Workcenter, and most recently to Calgary for the One Yellow Rabbit's Summer Lab. Emma is also member of Victoria-based Catflap Collective and the Ottawa Stilt Union.

February 22nd:  Yerma  by Federico García Lorca   

                             Adapted & translated by Ursula Rani Sarma                                 Directed by Kathleen Greenfield 

Yerma  

 

Young couples have everything to look forward to. A few years enjoying each other’s company before finally bringing a new life into the world. This is all that Yerma desires. But she has not been blessed with a child and, as years of childless marriage turn into decades, her obsession with motherhood grows. Yerma explores the plight of a young wife desperate to conceive, and the bitterness that mounts when desires are thwarted and dreams are slowly crushed by the passing of time.

Federico García Lorca (1898-1936) is without doubt the most famous Spanish playwright of the twentieth century. His poetry and plays are studied in universities worldwide and his work is frequently performed, both nationally and internationally. He was born in Fuente Vaqueros in the southern province of Granada at the end of the nineteenth century. This rural childhood influenced the themes and imagery of much of his work, in which elements from nature and traditional Andalusian country life are often present. As a young man, Lorca initially studied law at the University of Granada. Here, he also took up studies in poetry and art. In 1919, however, Lorca left Granada to study in Madrid, where he lived in the Residencia de Estudiantes (Students’ Residence). Lorca’s stay at the Residencia de Estudiantes was pivotal in terms of the people he met and his future career as both a poet and dramatist. The Spanish surrealist painter Salvador Dalí and the French film maker Luis Buñuel also lived at the Residencia, as well as a number of young Spanish poets who would later come to be known as the Generation of 1927, of which Lorca would also become part. Gradually, during his time in Madrid in the Residencia (where he stayed until 1928), Lorca built up his reputation as a well-known poet and playwright.

Ursula Rani Sarma is an Irish/Indian playwright, screenwriter and poet. She grew up in County Clare, Ireland and has a BA from University College Cork and an MPhil from Trinity College Dublin.

Kathleen Greenfield is dedicated to collective creation, the development of new work and community involvement. Her interests and experience are in site-specific outdoor performance, puppetry, folk stories and women, alternative education practices, and community activism. She holds a BFA in Theatre with a Directing Specialization from the University of Victoria and is currently a Collective Member of the Wayward School. Kathleen has directed the premiere productions of many new works including Little Orange Man (SNAFU), Kitt and Jane (SNAFU-Belfry Spark Festival), The Shoes (Humble Wonder Theatre-Belfry Incubator Project) and Bullfrog Lullaby (head through painting).

March 1st:  Lieutenant Nun  by Elaine Ávila

                     Directed by    

                     Mercedes Bátiz-Benét & Kathleen Greenfield

Lieutenant Nun   

Lieutenant Nun is based on the true story of Catalina de Erauso who lived, loved, and fought as a man, a Conquistador, on the frontier of the New World.

Elaine Avila is a Canadian/American playwright of Azorean descent, with a passion for exploring untold stories, from the true account of a female conquistador (Lieutenant Nun) to Portuguese migration (Lost and Found in Fado, Kitimat). Frequently incorporating music, politics and humor, her work has been described as “bold, intelligent, forthright, spirited, compassionate…inviting, wide-ranging” (Caridad Svich), “open, generous” (Erik Ehn) and with “Loads of talent…a wonderful writer, tremendously gifted, reliable, and innovative.” (Suzan-Lori Parks). She was born in Maryland, raised in San Jose, California, and lives/has lived in Vancouver, British Columbia; Los Angeles, New Mexico and New York. Elaine is the Playwright in Residence at Pomona College in Los Angeles in 2014-2015. She is the former Endowed Chair and Head of the MFA Program in Dramatic Writing at the University of New Mexico, founder of the LEAP Playwriting Program at Vancouver's Arts Club Theater, and currently a Playwrights Theatre Centre Associate in Vancouver, in residence from 2013-2016. She has worked as a dramaturge in numerous capacities, notably in cross-cultural work with Pangaea Arts on collaborations involving Inuit Storyteller Michael Kusugak and Chinese Opera. She received her MFA in Writing for Performance from CalArts, where she worked closely with adored mentors Suzan-Lori Parks, Erik Ehn, Alice Tuan, and Brian Freeman. Elaine was recently distinguished as a descendentes notáveis (Notable Descendant) for her theater work by the Government of the Azores, Portugal.

Kathleen Greenfield is dedicated to collective creation, the development of new work and community involvement. Her interests and experience are in site-specific outdoor performance, puppetry, folk stories and women, alternative education practices, and community activism. She holds a BFA in Theatre with a Directing Specialization from the University of Victoria and is currently a Collective Member of the Wayward School. Kathleen has directed the premiere productions of many new works including Little Orange Man (SNAFU), Kitt and Jane (SNAFU-Belfry Spark Festival), The Shoes (Humble Wonder Theatre-Belfry Incubator Project) and Bullfrog Lullaby (head through painting). 

 

Mercedes Bátiz-Benét is a multi-disciplinary artist, writer, and award-winner director. She was born and raised in Mexico and in 1997 she moved to Canada. She holds a BFA in Creative Writing in both poetry and drama, and a BA Honours in Philosophy from the University of Victoria, as well as a Diploma in Film Production from the Pacific Film & New Media Academy. Productions of her work include Faust: Ignis Fatuus, at the international festival Faustfest, Shining Through, Lágrimas Crueles, El Jinete, A Mariachi Opera, Cruel Tears/Lágrimas Crueles, a Puente and Blue Bridge Repertory Theatre co-production, and as co-writer, The Umbrella, The Secret Sorrow of Hatchet Jack Macphee for The Caravan Farm Theatre, The Erotic Anguish of Don Juan with the Old Trout Puppet Workshop, and Puente Theatre’s Gruff. In 2014, Mercedes won the Canadian Stage Award for Direction at the SummerWorks Festival with her play El Jinete, A Mariachi Opera. She is the poetry, fiction, and non-fiction editor at Bayeux Arts, and her first children’s book Lunar is forthcoming later this year. Mercedes is the artistic director of Puente Theatre.

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