Monthly Archive for: ‘June, 2016’
Tis Better to Give or to Receive?
Marisela Treviño Orta’s “The River Bride” is a story told in the magic realism style, about two sisters who live in a small village in Brazil. Both have a history with the same young man, whom the younger is about to marry, and both become enamored with a stranger who has been recovered from the murky waters of the Amazon by their father and the younger sister’s intended. Although the sisters love one another, their personalities are chalk and cheese. The older is diffident, always deferring to the younger, who is insatiable – taking whatever she can grasp and wanting whatever she can’t. This yearning included stealing the older sister’s boyfriend who became her fiancé, and now she longs for the stranger fished from the depths.
The play’s characters are alive with their existential issues and day-to-day acts of little consequence that are common to most people. A universal familiarity pervades. Nonetheless, the eloquence of some expression and dialogue is incongruous with the desolate and limited experience of the inhabitants. The fairy tale aspect promoted by the revelation of a local myth concerning a river dolphin adds a soupcon of mystery and expectancy.
“The River Bride” plays at Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s Angus Bowmer Theatre, Ashland, OR, through July 7. OSF is a premier theater company, founded in 1935. Operating three theaters totaling over 2,100 seats, overall attendance in 2015 exceeded 390,000, representing 87% of capacity. Among its awards, OSF has received the coveted Tony in 1983 for outstanding achievement in regional theater and in 2014 for best play for its commission “All the Way.”