Theater News

Jonathan Cake to Lead Fuente Ovejuna at TFANA

Adrian Mitchell’s translation of the 17th-century Spanish play will have its off-Broadway debut at Theatre for a New Audience.

Fuente Ovejuna cast members Jonathan Cake, Juliana Canfield, Paco Lozano, Carlo Albán, Carmen Zilles, Octavia Chavez-Richmond, Flordelino Lagundino, and Kenneth De Abrew
(© Hollis King)

Theatre for a New Audience has announced casting for its English-language premiere production of Lope de Vega’s Fuente Ovejunatranslated by the late British poet, novelist, and playwright Adrian Mitchell and directed by Flordelino Lagundino. Performances will run from April 29-May 28 at Polonsky Shakespeare Center with an official opening on May 9.

The production features a cast of 14, led by Carlo Albán as Frondoso, Jonathan Cake as The Commander, and Juliana Canfield as Laurencia. The cast also includes Barzin Akhavan (Esteban), Jack Berenholtz (Captain Flores), Stephen Berenson (Juan Rojo / First Alderman), Ben Chase (King Ferdinand of Aragon / Leonelo), Octavia Chavez-Richmond (Queen Isabella of Castile / Jacinta), Kenneth De Abrew (Mengo), José Espinosa (Grand Master Rodrigo Tellez Giron), Paco Lozano (Sergeant Ortuno / Don Manrique), Brian McEleney (Alonso / Second Alderman), Ricardo Vázquez (Barrildo), and Carmen Zilles (Pascuala).

Fuente Ovejuna is a radical play inspired by a real event,” said TFANA Artistic Director Jeffrey Horowitz in a statement. “Lope de Vega wrote it in 1612. He was inspired by a historical 1476 incident: farmers and peasants of the Castilian village of Fuente Ovejuna rose up against a military commander and his soldiers garrisoned in the village, who routinely brutalized and oppressed them…Fuente Ovejuna is about feminism, class, collective resistance, democracy, and human rights, but it was written long before the Declaration of Independence; French Revolution; the 19th Amendment to the Constitution granting women the right to vote; and, of course, today’s #MeToo movement. Lope de Vega’s words have rung out for centuries. His genius was to create a powerful mix of music, singing, dance, humor, and unforgettable drama.”

Mitchell’s English translation, making its off-Broadway premiere with TFANA, had its world premiere in 1989 at London’s National Theatre in a production directed by Declan Donellan. The TFANA creative team includes scenic designer Afsoon Pajoufar, costume designer Linda Cho, lighting designer Jiyoun Chang, composer/music director Paddy Cunneen (who will collaborate with the cast to create original music), choreographer/movement director Brian Brooks, fight choreographer J. David Brimmer, associate fight choreographer/intimacy director Dan O’Driscoll, dramaturg Jonathan Kalb, and voice director Andrew Wade.