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Maria Bechara in Blood Wedding. Photo by Nataly Hindaoui.
Articles, Reviews, Volume 8

Theatre Everywhere: How A Small Lebanese Village Transformed for Blood Wedding

Theatre Everywhere: How A Small Lebanese Village
Transformed for Blood Wedding
By Ashley Marinaccio
Arab Stages, Volume 8 (Spring, 2018) 
©2018 by Martin E. Segal Theatre Center Publications

Maria Bechara as the Bride with cast members from Blood Wedding performing a scene in the backyard garden of a Hammana home. Photo by Nataly Hindaoui.

In April, the Theatre Initiative at the American University of Beirut and Hammana Artist House presented an original promenade performance of a new Arabic translation of Federico Garcia Lorca’s Blood Wedding translated and directed by Lebanese theatre director Sahar Assaf and produced by Robert Meyers of AUB. The production, which incorporated music in both Arabic and Spanish, took place throughout the small village of Hammana in private residences, churches, theatres and in the street. Utilizing the help from performers and a robust creative team which included students and faculty at AUB, in collaboration with residents of the village, audience members were divided into two groups and brought to separate locations for the first two scenes, and finally reunited at the end of act one to experience the conclusion of the performance together.

Blood Wedding both began and concluded at the Hammana Artist House, a brand new multidisciplinary art residency space with a focus on the performing arts, which offers local and international artists to develop and deepen performance practice and research. The show provided audiences an intimate introduction to the village of Hammana by bringing them both through private residences including homes and apartments, in addition to community gathering spaces such as streets, churches and a movie theatre. The entire village was the stage for this dynamic, immersive new adaptation, which included a cast of over 25 actors and singers from the Beirut theatre community.

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