The Online Edition of the Annandale High School Newspaper.

The A-Blast

The Online Edition of the Annandale High School Newspaper.

The A-Blast

The Online Edition of the Annandale High School Newspaper.

The A-Blast

Theater Without Borders puts on “Blood Wedding”

ESOL students Ramatu Fofanah and Hendell Concepcion played the mother of the bridegroom and the bridegroom. They performed one of several intense scenes from “Blood Wedding.”

Twice a year, the ESOL department has the opportunity to delight students, teachers, and parents with a production put on by students from more than 30 different countries through the Theater Without Borders program. In about a month-long period, these students that are new to the language of English embark on a task of completing a 90-minute production of a famous play.

This fall’s production was one by Spanish dramatist Federico Garcia Lorca entitled “Blood Wedding.” The story takes place during the 1930’s, as it first premiered in Madrid in March of 1933, of a woman getting married to a man that she does not love and chaos ensues between the two quarreling families.

TWB’s portrayal of the show was acutely accurate and impressively performed by every student who took part, from the lead characters to the ensemble. The characterization by each student was remarkable, as the projection and clarity of their dialogue was easily understood, never rushed, and believable.

The costumes used in the show were acute to the time period and each prop was equally laid out for the 1930’s. Undoubtedly, one of the most impressive aspects of the show was the set, as the giant house in the background was meticulously painted by AHS parent Ingrid April Levey, and had the audience commenting about it after the show.

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“The set was absolutley wonderful and we can’t thank Mrs. Levey enough for her effort and time in painting it,” TWB sponsor and director Leslie Chekin said.

Prior to the [showing] of the play, auditions were held during the first week of October, causing students like junior Luis Perez, who is new to the English language, let alone to acting, much anxiety.

“I felt nervous when I stepped on stage,” Perez said. “I was shaking when I stepped on stage.”

Fortunately for Perez, he [received] the roles of wood cutter and guest dancer, both roles that he was very happy with. Perez also was helped by experienced fellow actor junior Wilsone Tosta. Tosta was in Greater Tuna as well as Blood Wedding and will be in A Streetcar Named Desire.

“We all have fun doing it, and we all have each other,” Tosta said.

Many members of TWB have been involved in the program for the majority of their high school [tenure], and took on big roles such as student director or stage director.

2012 marks the second year that senior student director Alba Campos has been a part of TWB. Campos first joined the troupe as a servant in Romeo and Juliet by Shakespeare. Initially, she refused to speak, but [received] help from Chekin.

“When I first startred, I didn’t know what I was doing here,” Campos said. “I didn’t know English. The play was Romeo and Juliet, I was a servant and I didn’t want to say anything. [Chekin] pulled me into that. It was really awesome.”

Now, as a student director, both sponsor Nick Liacopolous and Chekin facillitate the process for Campos.

“Sometimes I don’t know hwo to tell [the actors] how to exress themselves, or put enough emotion in their voices,” Campos said. “They help a lot with that.”

Blood Wedding, although originally written in Spanish, was translated into English for the production.

“For ESOL students, this isn’t their first language,” senior stage director Amina Khanum said. “They have to struggle with English and their accent; they have to memorize one to two pages of English and it’s hard.”

But both sponsors agreed that the actors understood the play, despite it being written completely in translated poetry.

“This was the first time we did not have to seriously adapt the language, although a lot of it is poetry [in] modern English. With Shakespeare, it was in public domain, so we could do whatever we wanted with it. But this one, we couldn’t, but we didn’t have to,” Liacopolus said.

“They’re a really good group,” Chekin added. “And I have to say, I just love seeing them work together. And I’m just so proud of them when they always figure it out.”


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About the Contributor
Christine Tamir
Christine Tamir, Editorials Editor
This is Christine Tamir's fourth year on the staff of The A-Blast. She is one of the two Editorials editorials for this school year. Besides the newspaper, Christine is an IB Diploma candidate and very involved in AHS extracurricular activities. She is president of Key Club, Executive team member of It's Academic, secretary of Mu Alpha Theta (Math honor society) and a member of many other clubs and honor societies. Outside of school, she works for a non-profit called GIVE (Growth through Inspiration, Volunteering and Education) as an Assistant Manager of a local tutoring center.

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Theater Without Borders puts on “Blood Wedding”