Lorca’s Blood Wedding Launches A Season Named Desire at Davis Performing Arts Center

Georgetown Theater and Performance Studies Program production runs Oct. 14-23

October 5, 2010 — Washington, D.C. — The Georgetown University Theater and Performance Studies Program kicks off its 2010-11 “A Season Named Desire” with a production of Federico García Lorca’s powerful “Blood Wedding,” based on the lyrical translation by Langston Hughes. Professor Nadia Mahdi directs this play, swirling with poetic intensity and supernatural imagery, which runs Oct. 14-23, 2010 (showtimes below) in the Davis Performing Arts Center’s Devine Studio Theatre.

Written in 1932, Lorca’s classic play was inspired by local newspaper coverage of a runaway bride whose rekindled flame with a childhood sweetheart and sworn family enemy spiraled into a wedding day catastrophe. Lorca’s sensuous and deeply conflicted exploration of desire, rebellion and retribution comes to life in this ensemble-driven production.

In this elemental reimagining of the play, Mahdi’s production will be performed in the round, creating an open and intimate environment for Lorca’s lush poetry to inhabit. Each of the eight actors take on multiple roles, and also play musical instruments as part of the performance’s beautiful and eclectic soundscape.

Mahdi says the work’s universal themes resonate with audiences. “I think we all have the experience of making choices between what we think we should want and what we want, and maybe neither choice holds the ultimate answer… What is the nature of desire if there’s no one right answer?”

In addition to “Blood Wedding,” Georgetown’s “A Season Named Desire” will also feature two shows as part of the Tennessee Williams Centennial Festival: “The Glass Menagerie Project” (Feb. 24-March 27) directed by Professor Derek Goldman, a production of the classic play with surrounding events that will run at Georgetown and then open in June at the new Mead Center for American Theater as part of GU’s partnership with Arena Stage; and “Suddenly, Last Summer” (April 7-16), directed by Professor Maya E. Roth. The season closes with the world premiere adaptation of Michael Pollan’s best-selling book “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” (July 27-30), written, conceived, and directed by Professor Natsu Onoda Power.

Professor Derek Goldman, Davis Performing Arts Center Artistic Director, says “Lorca’s classic play, as beautifully conceived by Professor Nadia Mahdi in her GU debut, is the perfect way to open our season-long exploration of desire, suffused as it is with gorgeous poetry, music, movement. The play, and this innovative ensemble production of Langston Hughes’ rarely produced translation, at once celebrate the beauty and passion of life, and offer a heartrending, tragic and timeless depiction of how this beauty is thwarted.”

“Blood Wedding” showtimes include the following:
Thursday-Saturday, October 14-16, 2010 at 8 p.m. Sunday, October 17, 2010, at 2 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday, October 20-23, 2010 at 8 p.m.
The design team includes Set Designer Natsu Onoda Power, Costume Designer Deb Sivigny, Sound Designer James Garver, and Lighting Designer Justin Keenan Miller.

Tickets for Friday and Saturday evenings only are $18 general; $15 for GU faculty/staff/alumni/senior (65 or older); and $10 for students. Tickets for all other performances are $15 general; $12 for faculty/staff/alumni/senior (65 or older); and $7 for students. To order or for more information, visit or call (202) 687-ARTS (2787) Monday through Friday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Georgetown University’s main campus is located at 3700 O St. NW, in Washington, D.C.

About Nadia Mahdi

Nadia Mahdi joined the Georgetown Theater and Performance Studies Program faculty in 2009. She teaches a variety of theoretical and practical courses including Play Analysis, Acting Shakespeare, Voice and Movement, The Political Stage and a seminar on Space and Performance. As director, musician and theatre maker, Ms. Mahdi has worked in numerous experimental and ensemble-based productions. Recent work includes collaborations with Theatre of a Two-Headed Calf (“Drum of the Waves of Horikawa”; Rafael Spregelburd’s “PANIC”; “Major Barbara”; Lisa D’Amour’s “The Cataract”), The South Wing (“The Lady Aoi”; “Death in a Vacant Lot”; “Hanjo (Redux)”), Perishable Theatre (Mickey Birnbaum’s Big Death and Little Death; Quiara Hudes’ Holy Broth; Eric Ehn’s My Baby; Emily O’Dell’s The French Revolution Part Deaux), The Providence Black Repertory Company where she was an Affiliate Artist, and with Brooklyn-based filmmaker Meredith Drum. As an actor, she has appeared at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Berkeley Contemporary Opera, Teatro Bacchino, The Classic Stage Company, La MaMa E.T.C., PS122, Three Legged Dog, HERE Arts Center, Shakespeare Now, the Hot Ink Festival, Trinity Repertory Company and the Robert Wilson Watermill Center where she joined The South Wing for the center’s inaugural artist residency in Fall 2007. Ms. Mahdi has taught at Wheaton College, Clark University, as an artist-in-residence and mentor for the ArtsLiteracy Project in the Brown University Education Department and, most recently at Brown as Artistic Director of the 2009 New Plays Festival in the MFA Playwrighting Program. Ms. Mahdi received her Master’s Degree in the Department of Theatre, Dance and Performance Studies at UC Berkeley.

About the Georgetown University Theater & Performance Studies Program

Part of Georgetown University’s Department of Performing Arts, the Theater and Performance Studies Program integrates creative and critical inquiry, emphasizing artistic excellence, interdisciplinary learning, socially-engaged performance, and the spirit of collaboration. Now offering a dynamic major in Theater and Performance Studies, the Program features a nationally-recognized faculty, including a number of the field’s leading scholar/artists, and many of the region’s leading professional theater practitioners. One of the country’s only undergraduate programs in Theater and Performance Studies, the fast-growing program has rapidly attracted significant national attention for its distinctive curriculum, reflecting the political and international character of Georgetown, as well as for its commitment to social justice, and its high-quality, cutting-edge student production seasons. The Theater and Performance Studies Program is distinctive for its focus on adapting, devising and developing new work, civic theater and community-based performance, political theater, international and cross-cultural performance, playwriting, performance art, solo and multimedia performance, ensemble-created performance, physical theater, world theater history, and innovative approaches to design and technology, acting, directing, dramaturgy, technical theater, and more.
A partial and rapidly growing list of theatrical luminaries who have had sustained contact with Georgetown students in the Davis Center includes Quinn Bauriedel, Theodore Bikel, Irina Brown, The Civilians, Dan Conway, Nilo Cruz, Peter DiMuro, David Dower, Joe Dowling, Olympia Dukakis, David Edgar, Rick Foucheux, Michael Friedman, Marcus Gardley, Ed Gero, Danny Hoch, David Henry Hwang, Moises Kaufman, Liz Lerman, Emily Mann, Sister Helen Prejean, Heather Raffo, Clint Ramos, Stephen Richard, Ari Roth, Christopher Sivertsen, Molly Smith, Tony Taccone, Irina and Paata Tsikurishvili, Timberlake Wertenbaker, Charles Randolph Wright, Karen Zacarias, and Mary Zimmerman.


Laura Mertens
(202) 687-6933