Friday, October 3, 2014


                                PLAYWRIGHT MICHAEL BRADFORD

For Frederico del Sagrado Corazon de Jesus Garcia Lorca, his life was creatively plentiful and his death was sudden and mysterious.  Proclaimed to be "the nearest thing to a pure genius" by H. G. Wells and Rudyard Kipling, Frederico Garcia Lorca was known as a gifted poet, dramatist, painter, song writer and theater director in his native Spain.

His unique story is being lyrically and dramatically staged on the campus of the University of Connecticut, 820 Bolton Road, at Storrs in the Nafe Katter Theatre until Sunday, October 12.  "Olives and Blood" is the masterwork of Associate Professor of Dramatic Arts and Director of the Theatre Studies BA at the University of Connecticut Michael Bradford.

A decade ago Bradford became fascinated with the mystery surrounding Lorca's death during the Spanish Revolution in 1936, when Lorca suddenly disappeared.  A poet himself, Bradford was researching material for a class and Lorca's distinctive voice intrigued him.  In "Olives and Blood," Bradford creates dream sequences and hopscotches  in time from the 1930's to the 1970's to capture the political climate in which Lorca worked and wrote juxtaposed to the life of the militia man Truscante who wants to proudly claim the distinction for taking Lorca's life.

The drama stretches back and forth like an elastic band, first capturing the idealistic young poet beautifully delineated by Nicholas Urda, and then snapping sharply to the delusional Truscante, portrayed with a touch of malice and mischief by Martin Sola.  A judicial tribunal is being convened in 1970 and Truscante can't wait to testify to his role in putting Lorca into a violent and early grave.  His evil does not provoke any empathy.

The role of censorship to silence Lorca's powerful voice booms from the grave, a voice of music and art, that still reverberates decades after his death.  The brutality of the Spanish Civil War echoes with the demise of 130,000 in mass burial plots, bones on bones.  Lorca's story embraces his relationship with his friend Ignacio the bullfighter (Anthony J. Goes), the actress Margarite (Anita Petry) and Alonso (Anthony J. Goes), the man who initially arrests him and wants him killed.  Others in the cast include Dale AJ Rose, Gabriel Aprea, Whitney Andrews, Derrick Holmes, Saul Alvarez and Kent Coleman.

Gary M. English directs this probing look at a poet and his legacy.  For tickets ($7-37), call 860-486-2113 or online at  Performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.

Discover for yourself that Lorca is not really dead.  He is living through his words and his work, with his powerful voice wherever in the world his thoughts are spoken.

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