News: Teatro Círculo Brings Lope de Vega's "Fuente Ovejuna" to the Chain in October

Teatro Círculo, one of the main bilingual Latino theatre companies in New York City, has announced its 2022-2023 season, to take place at the Chain Theatre (312 W 36th St, 3rd floor) in Manhattan while the company's East Village homebase façade is being renovated to better accommodate its growing audience.

Given the rise in autocracies around the world and voter suppression bills pending in different states in the United States, Teatro Círculo has chosen projects to underscore the real threats that oppressive authoritarian rule presents to any government system that honors community participation. The new season begins in October, during Hispanic Heritage Month, with the staging of Fuente Ovejuna by Lope de Vega, a Spanish playwright, poet, and novelist and one of the key figures in the Spanish Golden Age of Baroque literature.

Fuente Ovejuna, a classic tale known for its stirring depiction and critique of the abuse of power, will be presented from October 7th to the 23rd in a production directed by Mariano de Paco Serrano. It is a compelling story about community empowerment among the peasants of Fuente Ovejuna, who have for too long meekly endured the tyranny of their lecherous overlord, but when one woman stands up in defense of her honor, the townspeople are galvanized at last into rebellion. As authorities enter the scene to find the perpetrator, what happens next is one of the most memorable acts of resistance in world drama.
Fernando Gazzaniga (l), José Cheo Oliveras (c), & Pablo Andrade (r) during a recent rehearsal. Photo by Michael Palma Mir.
This adaptation of Fuente Ovejuna, by Mariano de Paco Serrano (Spain), presents the rupture of harmony. According to de Paco Serrano, “It's not about adapting the play so that it makes sense today, it already does, it's universal. Is about telling of the distortion that occurs when an external element breaks the harmony, whether it is social peace of the people, whether that of consensual love, or the political harmony determined by a structure.”

His director’s concept will not talk about violence itself, but the staging will foreground the scum of that violence, which will be emphasized by the costumes, elements, and set designed by Israel Franco Müller (Puerto Rico). The play will be performed in Spanish with overtitles in English, with verse director Karmele Aranburu (Spain) in charge of making Lope's words accessible verse. 

The cast includes José Cheo Oliveras (Puerto Rico), María Fontanals (Spain), Eva Cristina Vásquez (Puerto Rico), Juan Luis Acevedo (Puerto Rico), Gemma Ibarra (Spain), Pablo Andrade (Venezuela), Fernando Gazzaniga (Argentina) and Daniel Alonso (Spain).

TEATRO CÍRCULO AT 36TH STREET CHAIN THEATRE, 312 W 36th St. (between 8th and 9th Avenues), 3rd floor, Manhattan. ADA Accessible.



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