12th Ave Arts STUDIO
Jun-1 to Jun-24, 2017
Thu-Fri-Sat 7:30pm, Mon 7:30pm
No performance Monday Jun-5
Increase the community conversation: tickets for
Lydia are cheaper with volume discounts. Buy four tickets and the 4th is free... see Brown Paper Tickets for more information.
"LYDIA" LISTENS THROUGH WALLS
AT THE MEXICAN BORDER
Strawberry Theatre Workshop
presents a play of magical realism
June 1-24 at 12th Ave Arts
Octavio Solis says the literal border between El Paso and Juarez has a presence in his Pulitzer-nominated play, Lydia, but the border is also a metaphor he explores in all of his work. "That's so much a part of my fabric now, the way I see things," he says."There's always a threshold one crosses, between dark and light, life and death, between one country and another, between one consciousness and another."
Opening Thursday, June 1, Strawberry Theatre Workshop presents Solis' breakthrough success, Lydia. Directed by Sheila Daniels, Lydia centers on two young women who move across borders—one between nations, and one across metaphysical borders between unknown, unseen worlds. Although technically hired as a maid, Lydia's primary responsibility is caring for the family's near-vegetative teenage daughter named Ceci, who was left in a coma after a mysterious accident that occurred right before her quinceanera, or 15th birthday. Unlike the family that surrounds her, Lydia is able to translate Ceci's thoughts—an adolescent stew of childhood memories, criticism and carnality.
Like Strawshop's critically acclaimed 9 Circles that occupied the Spring slot last year, Lydia features a cast that is entirely new to the company and performs in the intimate Studio Theatre at 12th Ave Arts. Lydia includes five emerging artists playing characters aged 16-22, who developed a chemistry with each other (and with Daniels' directing style) as students at Cornish College of the Arts. Pablo López plays Alvaro, with Rafael Molina and Andrew Pryor-Ramírez performing as the brothers, Rene and Misha. Sofía Raquel Sánchez appears as the stricken sister Ceci, while Yadira Duarte plays the title character, Lydia. The adults are performed by Ray González and Carolyn Marie Monroe.
Lydia has enjoyed critically successful runs across the country—at the Denver Theater Center, where it had its world premiere in 2008; at Yale Repertory Theatre; at the Marin Theatre Company in Mill Valley CA and at Los Angeles' Mark Taper Forum. Juliette Carrillo, who directed Lydia at DTC says one of the things that distinguishes Solis' work is what she calls his "in-your-face emotional rawness… He's provocative to the point that some producers are scared off by his work and by his darkly hilarious subversive streak."
John Moore at the Denver Post wrote, "Octavio Solis’ 1970s immigrant epic is very much the Latino cousin of Death of a Salesman, down to its mangled car and searing exposure of the lie that is, for so many, the American Dream. Only [Solis] doesn’t just serve up one Willy Loman. It serves up seven, each trapped in shockingly disparate ways—in body, time, alcohol, and anger.
"Solis, like Arthur Miller, has an extraordinary ability to look with compassion into the hearts of his ordinary, flawed characters. But his storytelling, so rich in imagery, is uniquely infused with poetry, sexual desire, childlike wonder and violence at once."
Daniels is the most critically accomplished director in Seattle, and has done many of her signature pieces at Strawshop, including The Normal Heart, The Bridge of San Luis Rey, and Breaking the Code. Her design team includes collaborators from those productions and others: Reed Nakayama (lights), Rob Witmer (sound), Caitlyn Cooke (costumes) and Greg Carter (scenery).
This performance contains nudity and explicit descriptions of sexual encounters. Parents concerned about the appropriateness of the content for children should read the script here
written by Octavio Solis (2009)
directed by Sheila Daniels
Sofía Raquel Sánchez
Carol Marie Monroe
designed and constructed by
Caitlin Krida Cooke
stage managed by
Laura Miller & Becca Pauza
graphic design by Melanie Wang