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The Wilma Theater begins the 2017/18 Season with an athletic ensemble adaptation of Blood Wedding

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 2017

PHILADELPHIA - Acclaimed Hungarian director-choreographer Csaba Horváth leads the Wilma’s HotHouse Company of actors in a production combining athletic ensemble theater with Lorca’s fiery language. Magical realism at its richest and most tragic, this reimagining of Federico García Lorca’s classic play is a searing investigation of passion in the Wilma’s signature style. Blood Wedding begins on Wednesday, October 25th, 2017, and opens on Wednesday, November 1st, 2017.

Blood Wedding tells the story of a young Bride on the morning of her wedding day. She is visited by a headstrong former lover, reigniting a family blood feud that has been simmering for years. Their isolated village is a pent-up powder keg of fury and desire, and when they escape together, all that repression is released — to destructive ends.

Csaba Horváth brings a visceral and lyrical style to this Spanish classic. With an English-translated script by Nahuel Telleria, Horváth’s interpretation will explore the intense and destructive passion of Lorca’s work by calling on dance styles such as Hungarian folk dance and flamenco. As the founding Artistic Director of the Forte Company in Budapest, his work as a choreographer flowed seamlessly into the world of modern theater, building on the importance of ensemble work.

Lorca’s writing is a natural fit for Horváth, who derives constant inspiration from the playwright’s essay, Play and Theory of the Duende. “Duende is present in all my work,” he says. “Sometimes it is central to a piece I’m working on, like Blood Wedding; at other times it will instinctively come out in my work. All that is important to me in performance, character, music, and movement is grounded in Duende.”

The essay was critical in Horváth’s two-week workshop with the Wilma HotHouse Company of actors. The company delved into Lorca’s text and worked with Horváth to develop the movement vocabulary of the production. “Csaba challenges the actors to find the characters within their bodies,” says Artistic Director Blanka Zizka. “His rehearsals are rhythmic, rigorous. He pushes the ensemble to discover the spirit of their characters.”

Horváth rounds out this production with the music of long-time collaborator and friend Composer Csaba Ökrös: “His music is integral to the performance: it is a language of its own, as important as the text,” says Horváth. “Ökrös’ music isn’t decorative, but serves the story the ensemble is telling. It creates a musical mirror of the psychological state of the actors.”

Blood Wedding is made possible in part through the generous support of David Haas. Additional support provided by the Trust for Mutual Understanding.

About the Playwright:
Federico García Lorca (1898-1936) was perhaps the most important Spanish-language writer of the first half of the 20th century, renowned for both his poetry and his plays. During his short life, he wrote thirteen plays, the best-known of which are Blood Wedding (1932), Yerma (1934), and The House of Bernarda Alba (1936). In the early 1930s, Lorca became the director of La Barraca, a theater company that toured the provinces performing Spanish classical plays in peasant villages. Between tours, he wrote Blood Wedding, which brought him international attention.
When the Spanish Civil War broke out, Lorca was targeted by the fascist Falangist forces, both as a gay man and as an artist prominently allied with the Republican government. He was arrested on August 16, 1936 and murdered the night of August 18. His burial site has never been found.

About the Translator
Nahuel Telleria is a doctoral candidate at Yale School of Drama researching contemporary Argentine theater. He recently co-dramaturged Happy Days at Theatre for a New Audience, previously at Yale Repertory Theatre; he also has worked for the Dwight/Edgewood Project in New Haven. He has a BA in English and theater from Columbia University, and an MA in humanities from the University of Chicago.

About the Director
Choreographer and director Csaba Horváth began his career as the Artistic Director of the Közép-Európa Táncszínház (Central Europe Dance Theater) in Budapest from 1999-2006. In 2001, he created the choreography for American Repertory Theater’s Mother Courage and Her Children, and in 2002 acted as the choreographer and assistant director of Marat/Sade. In 2005, Horváth founded the Forte Company in Budapest. As the Artistic Director, he worked with his resident company of actors to create a unique theatrical language; through use of bodies, voices, dance, music and text. Recent Forte Company productions include Crime and Punishment, The Notebook, Rats, Concerto/String Quartet No. 5, and Your Kingdom. He has served as Artistic Director of the Dance Department at Csokonai Theatre in Debrecen (2006-2008); and Artistic Director of CAFé Budapest Contemporary Art Festival (2011). He also currently serves as the Artistic Director of the Dance Department at Vörösmarty Theatre, Székesfehérvár and is the Leader of Physical Theatre Courses at the University of Theatre and Film Arts in Budapest. Horváth directed the film Tavasz ébredése (Spring Awakening) and acted in such films as Ópium: Egy elmebeteg nő naplója (Opium: Diary of a Madwoman), A fény ösvényei (Paths of Light), and Kút (Well). Horváth has won the following awards for his work: Harangozó Gyula Award (2001), Best Choreographer - Dancers' Association (2003), Imre Zoltán Award (2004), Gundel Award (2004), Hevesi Sándor Award (2006), Lábán Rudolf Award (2006, 2007 and 2017), Best Dancer, Dance Festival, Veszprém (2007), Best Performance - Waiting for Godot, Dance Festival, Veszprém (2011), Sík Ferenc Award - Troilus and Cressida (2011), POSZT Best Director Award - Your Kingdom (2016). Learn more about Csaba Horváth and the Forte Company at www.fortecompany.hu.

About the Composer
Csaba Ökrös is a professional musician and composer, specializing in traditional Hungarian and regional folk string music. He has worked extensively with director and choreographer Csaba Horváth in Hungary and across Europe, particularly as the Composer and Music Director for many of the plays performed by the Forte Company. Notable productions include Kristof’s The Notebook (in 2013), Edmundson’s The Clearing (in 2014), Hungarian Elektra (in 2014 at Csíky Gergely Theatre), Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment (in 2015), Tarr’s Your Country (in 2016), and Hauptmann’s Rats (in 2017). Ökrös studied at the Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest where he then became a teacher of violin in 2009. In 1986, he created the Ökrös Esemble. The group has performed with the Symphonic Orchestras of Brooklyn, Miami, Philadelphia, and Oregon. Collaborating with Horváth since at least 2013, Ökrös has established himself as a critical member of this distinguished director’s creative team for productions in their home country of Hungary and beyond.

Cast and Design Team:
The cast of Blood Wedding includes HotHouse Company members Ross Beschler (Adapt!, The Hard Problem), Taysha Canales (When the Rain Stops Falling, An Octoroon), Jaylene Clark Owens (An Octoroon), Sarah Gliko (Adapt!, Constellations), Justin Jain (An Octoroon, Antigone), Jered McLenigan (Adapt!, Constellations), Campbell O’Hare (Adapt!, An Octoroon), Brett Robinson (Wilma debut), Matteo Scammell (Our Class), Lindsay Smiling (When the Rain Stops Falling, The Hard Problem), and Ed Swidey (An Octoroon, Antigone).
The artistic team includes Set and Lighting Designer Thom Weaver (Adapt!, An Octoroon), Costume Designer Oana Botez (Adapt!), Composer Csaba Ökrös, Sound Designer Larry Fowler and Dramaturg Walter Bilderback. The production’s resident stage manager is Patreshettarlini Adams, and its production manager is Clayton Tejada.

Philadelphia Film Society and the Wilma present: Lorca on Film
Mondays, Oct. 16, Nov. 6 and 13 at The Prince Theater
Tickets: FREE, for reservations call 267-239-2941 or go online at filmadelphia.org.
Presented by the Philadelphia Film Society in collaboration with the Wilma, this film series explores the work and history of celebrated dramatist Federico García Lorca. The films include a flamenco adaption of Blood Wedding, a searing exploration of Lorca’s death during the Spanish Civil War (Death in Granada, starring Andy Garcia), and an intimate look at the playwright’s early years and relationship with Salvador Dalí and Luis Buñuel (Little Ashes, starring Javier Beltrán, Robert Pattinson, and Matthew McNulty).

Wilma at Aurora and Special Events:
Extending beyond our stage, our new lobby café, renamed Wilma at Aurora, will be a space for patrons to explore our productions and engage with the Philadelphia theater community. Run by Good Karma Cafe, this café is open to community and audience members alike throughout the week. The Wilma’s goal is to create an intimate and casual setting for our patrons to gather for a quick bite or drink and conversation.

Cafe Chats: Wednesday, October 25 - November 19 – Post-Show
After every performance, join us for an informal discussion about the production with Wilma artists and staff. Discuss what resonated with you during the performance with a drink from Good Karma Cafe.

Beer Night: Friday, October 27 – 7:00pm
Grab a FREE beer before the show with our pre-show beer tasting. Featuring local craft breweries, Beer Nights are a part of the first Friday performance of every production.

Directors Gathering Dialogue: Tuesday, October 31 – Post-Show
In this audience-led post-show discussion, a member of the Directors Gathering sits down with the director of the Wilma’s current production to explore the artistic process. Directors Gathering Dialogues are a part of the first Tuesday performance of every production.

Post-Show Artistic Chats: Thursday, November 2 and 9 – Post-Show
Go behind-the-scenes of the production with the Wilma’s artistic team. The discussions include dramaturgical information about the production and special guests.

Young Friends Night: Friday, November 10 – 7:00pm
Join our Young Friends Committee before and after the performance as they serve up the best of Philly bites and drinks. Learn more about The Wilma Theater Young Friends on Facebook @WilmaYF.

Open Caption Performance: Saturday, November 18, 2017 - 2:00pm

Tickets: Three years ago, the Wilma launched a new ticket initiative designed to remove the barrier of cost. For Blood Wedding, the first week of performances is $25 for general admission and $10 for students and theater industry members with valid ID. For the subsequent three weeks, general admission tickets are $30 and student/industry tickets are $10 tickets are available at the Wilma’s Box Office by visiting wilmatheater.org, calling 215.546.7824, or by coming to the theater.

Mission: The Wilma Theater creates living, adventurous art. We engage artists and audiences in imaginative reflection on the complexities of contemporary life. We present bold, original, well-crafted productions that represent a range of voices, viewpoints, and styles.

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