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October 21, 2014

A rare Philadelphia staging of BLOOD WEDDING, Federico García Lorca’s classic tragedy of an ill-fated trio of lovers, is being produced collaboratively by Drexel’s Mandell Professionals in Residence Project (MPiRP) and the Philadelphia Artists’ Collective (PAC). BLOOD WEDDING will open on November 6 and will run through November 23, with each performance preceded by a celebratory wedding procession of actors, musicians and dancers leading into the Mandell Theater. Click here to purchase tickets.

When a bride takes flight on her wedding day with a former lover, a vendetta between two families ignites with murderous revenge. Written in 1932, Spanish poet and playwright Lorca’s story of desire and repression examines the social constructions of a rural Spanish community. Directed by Damon Bonetti, co-founding artistic director of the PAC and an adjunct professor at Drexel, the show will star Broadway veteran Judith Lightfoot Clarke as well as Victoria Rose Bonito, Jay Hernandez and Eric Scotolati. Drexel students will perform alongside nine professional actors, in addition to serving in behind-the-scenes roles as box office managers, prop designers and assistant stage managers.

Barrymore Award-winning theater artist, composer and guitarist Christopher Colucci composed all music for the play, with lyrics based on Lorca’s poetry and prose. Under the musical direction of Michael Kiley, percussionist Adam Bailey and guitarist Guy West will perform the original scores, along with cellist Mari Ma, Entertainment & Arts Management undergraduate student. Live sound effects will include a lush forest soundscape. The distressed beams and arches of the set designed by Matt Campbell were inspired by Cortijo del Fraile, the Friar’s Farmhouse setting of the true-life 1928 crime portrayed in BLOOD WEDDING.

Prior to each performance, a pre-show in the Mandell Lobby will include pieces choreographed by Elba Hevia y Vaca, artistic/executive director of Philadelphia-based flamenco company Pasion y Arte. From the lobby pre-show, the dancers, musicians and actors will stage the elaborate wedding procession into the theater, which will be fittingly transformed for an intimate performance with on-stage seating.

Preview performances of BLOOD WEDDING will take place on Thursday, Nov. 6 and Friday, Nov. 7 at 8:00pm. Opening night will be Saturday, Nov. 8 at 8:00pm. The show will play from Nov. 12 – 15, 17, 20 – 22 at 8:00pm, and Nov. 9, 16 and 23 at 2:00pm. All performances will be at the Mandell Theater (32nd and Chestnut Streets). Tickets are $5 for Drexel students, faculty and staff with a Drexel ID; $10 for non-Drexel students; and $25 for general admission.

Since 2006, the Mandell Professionals in Residence Project has supported an ongoing collaboration with the professional theatre and dance communities of Philadelphia and Drexel. Directed by Theater Professor Nick Anselmo, MPiRP provides valuable space and resources for up and coming performing arts organizations and artists, and provides Drexel students with a unique educational experience. Past residencies have included Pig Iron Theatre, New Paradise Labs, Commonwealth Classic Theatre Company, Azuka Theatre and The Riot Group.

The Philadelphia Artists’ Collective, founded in 2008 by Damon Bonetti and Dan Hodge, is committed to promoting rarely performed classical plays through workshops and readings in the greater Philadelphia area. The Collective’s past readings and workshops have featured some of the region’s finest artists and its full productions have garnered wide audience and critical praise.