By Frank Portillo
The first play of the semester, “Blood Wedding,” is set to debut Friday. The play is based on a story by Federico Garcia Lorca from the ‘30s and is meant to be a commentary on society at the time of its inception.
“Blood Wedding” focuses on Leonardo, played by Michael Herrera, who falls in love with The Bride, played by Miriam Menendez, despite the fact that she is being married off to someone else. On the night of her marriage, the two flee and are subsequently chased by the townspeople, who want to murder them. The two are forced to fight for their lives as they choose passion over tradition.
The co-director, Tom Atha, can’t wait for audience members to see the conclusion of the dramatic tale. “There’s a big fight and, well, I’ll let (them) find out who dies,” Atha said.
While the story is set in the 1930s, the Atha wants the experience to be an abstract production.
He was pleased with the “young actors” that auditioned for the play and found roles for all of them. “We have a deep pool of talent at East Los Angeles College theater. I’m impressed that all 21 have stuck through the play to the end. They’re really dedicated and I think it’s going to be a really fun performance,” Atha said.
He said the costume department went crazy when they found out the size of the cast, but went on to praise the crew.
“We have a wonderful student designer in costumes and a wonderful student designer in set. They are really excellent. The tech department, lighting, sound, everything that we have, is as professional as we can get in Los Angeles. I get out there and see professional shows all the time and I know we have an excellent tech department,” Atha said.
Like the story, the set is also meant to be abstract. With five different locations, Atha said that the set makes it easy for members of the audience to distinguish the different locations in the play.
“That’s what I’m always after when I’m on a set. Can the audience tell that we’re in another place?” Atha said.
Atha collaborated on the production with longtime co-director Laura Rhi. “Laura and I have directed for years together. I always bring her in on all of my projects because I like her way of directing. Her and I see eye to eye, sometimes we don’t, but it’s always fun to work with her,” Atha said.
“Blood Wedding” debuts Friday and will run until Oct. 29 in the P2 Black Box Theater. Evening and matinee shows are available on different days at 8 p.m. and 2 p.m. Pre-sale tickets are $10, ASU members receive a $2 discount and tickets are $12 at the door. Tickets can be purchased in P2, or on the ELAC website under the events tab.