Languages@Muhlenberg.edu
Newsletter 2002
 
Bodas de Sangre Brought to Life on Stage

   How do you chose between doing what is right and doing what your heart is longing to do? Is it possible to ignore the longing for you true love? These are just a few of the themes with which the characters of Federico García Lorca's Bodas de sangre (Blood Wedding) are faced. In rural southern Spain, a woman loved by two men is forced to choose between the two. The novia is preparing to marry a man not for love but because of the expectations of her family and society in general. Everything changes, though, when Leonardo, the man she truly loves appears at her door on the morning of her wedding. This creates a problem, as Leonardo is already married with a son and another child on the way and she is due to marry within a matter of hours. As much as her maid wants to intervene and not let the conversation continue between the two, she understands that they are truly in love and only wants the best for the woman she helped raise. Tensions are high and a lot is at stake for all involved.
   Up until a few weeks ago, this scene for me was merely part of the play we needed to read for my 20th Century Spanish Literature class with Dr. Sutherland. However, I was given the opportunity this semester to take an in-class assignment to the next level. Instead of just simply reading and writing an analytical essay for Bodas de sangre, my class rehearsed a scene with Theatre Professor Francine Roussel. Some of us then went on to perform the scene for International Night on March 15. I played the part of the criada (maid), while Águeda Ramírez '04 played the role of the novia (bride), Nikolay Pandoursky '04 the infamous Leonardo, and other classmates provided offstage voices and lots of moral support.
   Being a Biology and Spanish double major, I am not involved at all with the theater department and have little talent as far as acting goes. So you can imagine my nervousness to have to perform in front of a large group of people. But what made the situation even more intimidating was the fact that me lines weren't even in English! So, with hands trembling and knees knocking, I took the stage... and all of a sudden I was not longer myself, I was the criada. The words of García Lorca began to flow as my own. The literature was no longer just words on a page but alive with true human emotion and passion. However, the actors were not the only ones caught up in the emotion and passion of this scene. For the few seconds following the performance, the recital hall was completely silent as if the audience didn't know how to react. Finally the room filled with applause, easing all of my fears and reassuring me that the performance had gone well. This experience truly helped me to appreciate the deeper meaning of Bodas de sangre and will be an experience that I will never forget.
   Jennifer Cardone, '04