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Yerma takes the Falk Theatre stage

By Iovanna Borjas

Falk Theatre welcomes UT’s department of speech, theatre and dance to present Yerma – a play originally written by Federico Garcia Lorca. The play will be presented from March 28 to March 30 at 8 p.m. and on March 31 at 2 p.m.

Sophia Williar, junior theatre major and assistant director of Yerma, describes the play as a shocking and tragic story.

Yerma is about a woman whose biggest wish is to be a mother. However, her husband Juan does not want to have any children with her. While Yerma struggles with the desire of fulfilling the expectations society has for her, she also battles against a hopeless and loveless marriage.

Yerma’s marriage was arranged by her family so, there is no desire or sexual attraction between the spouses. However, Yerma is willing to do anything to get the family she wants.

“The absence of desire in this tragic mismatch is the cause of disastrous unhappiness and death,” said Gary Luter, director of Yerma and professor of theatre, speech and dance. “Yerma becomes obsessed with the fact that she is childless and she thirsts for passion.”

“The play is for more mature audiences,” said Luter. “Yerma is part of a trilogy that focuses on the oppression of women as the tragic motif.”

The trilogy includes two other plays: Blood Wedding and The House of Bernarda Alba.

Alyssa Cabrera, freshman theatre and journalism major, said that while the play contains mature topics, it is not too revealing.

“I would not say the scenes are explicit,” Cabrera said. “But they do showcase a general idea of what it is going on.”

Williar said there are many reasons why Yerma is still relevant after almost 50 years of being written.

“It truly shows the power dynamic and struggles women still continue to face in society and the roles they are forced to play,” said Williar. “I expect Yerma to shock some people.”

Similarly, Luter said Yerma fits modern society and its issues.

“There has been a lot of progress,” said Luter. “But there are still some people who want to hold onto old ways of thinking.”

Dakota Kuharich, choreographer of Yerma and senior applied dance major, explained why the play would be of interest to the public.

“I think everyone can relate to wanting something so badly they feel as if they would do anything to achieve it,” Kuharich said. “It portrays a general feeling of longing, desire, and lust.”

Michaela Thomas, junior theatre and journalism major, who is playing the role of Yerma, said she relates to her character to an extent.

“I relate to her persistence,” Thomas said. “But I would not call her a role model because some of the choices she makes are a little too much.”

Thomas said that there are a lot of things she loves about Yerma.

Yerma will shock the audience and then also have them thinking at the same time,” Thomas said. “They will be intellectually challenged by the play.”

In terms of differences between UT’s play and Lorcas’ original, Luter said he had to make many decisions to get to where they are now.

“We are not doing this play by its representation of realism,” Luter said. “We are not creating a set that resembles a Spanish village in Andalucia and we used several translations to create this production.”

Williar said she considered that this is the best part of the play.

“You can argue that we have changed it,” Williar said. “But the beautiful thing about theatre is that you’ll never see the same play twice.”

Iovanna Borjas can be reached at iovanna.borjas@theminaretonline.com

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