Showing posts from October, 2020

Evocation, Inspiration, and Ignition—A.C.T.’s Blood Wedding Brings the Spirit of Duende to Life

by A.C.T. Publications StaffThe spirit of duende, the Spanish term for passion and inspiration, is central to the works of Federico García Lorca. For A.C.T.'s production of Lorca's Blood Wedding, director Christine Adaire and actor Hernán Angulo share their interpretation of duende, and how it influenced their production.
Federico García Lorca was obsessed by the spirit of Duende. Duende is one of the most elusive words in the Spanish language. Literally, it means “ghost” or “goblin.” In art, particularly drama, dance, and the music of Flamenco, it refers to the powerful energy emitted by a performer to captivate the audience. Lorca gave a lecture in Buenos Aires in 1933 in which he described duende as “a force, not a labor, a struggle, not a thought,” “the mystery, the roots that cling to the mire we all know,” and “a creature who sweep[s] the earth with its wings of rusty knives.” It is not based in reason or the intellect, it “surges up from the soles of the feet.” Blood Wed…

The Evolution of a Holiday Classic: A Christmas Carol at A.C.T. Part Two

By Michael Paller*This article originally appeared on Inside A.C.T. in 2016. 
By 2004, A Christmas Carol was 28 years old, and the sets were showing their age. A significant investment would be required to refurbish them, which set Artistic Director Carey Perloff to thinking. Carol had more than served its purpose since 1976. Every year but 1994 and 1995, when the production was put on hiatus until The Geary reopened, many young Bay Area children—and parents—had their first theater experience watching Bill Paterson, Sydney Walker, Raye Birk, or Ken Ruta awake on Christmas morning a changed man. Now, however, Perloff wanted Carol to serve an additional purpose, featuring parts for students in the Young Conservatory, and roles for actors in M.F.A. Program who could add the mainstage experience toward earning their Actors’ Equity union card.

Perloff went in search of an existing Carol that told the story well while accommodating a full class of young actors. But after failing to find one, …