APPLETON — Mixing humor and danger, the Lawrence University Theatre Arts Department presents five performances of “The Knight from Olmedo,” a tragicomedy by the great Spanish playwright Lope de Vega. The production culminates the theatre department’s year-long celebration of Spanish playwrights.
The play will be performed May 14-17 at 8 p.m. and May 18 at 3 p.m. in Stansbury Theatre of the Lawrence Music-Drama Center, 420 E. College Ave., Appleton. Tickets, at $10 for adults, $5 for students and senior citizens, are available through the Lawrence University Box Office, 920-832-6749.
Following the romantic quests of two men pursuing the same woman, the play explores themes of family honor, the power of attraction, the supernatural and respect for authority. The turbulent love affairs and lighthearted comedy are entwined with more dangerous, sinister and supernatural elements throughout the story.
“DeVega gives us a wide-open theatricality that is different from the English language tradition we get from Shakespeare,” said director Timothy X. Troy, associate professor of theatre arts and J. Thomas and Julie Esch Hurvis Professor of Theatre and Drama. “There is a palpable sense of celebration and discovery as each character discovers the limits of his or her own desire.”
Regarded as the greatest playwright of Spain’s Golden Age, the prolific de Vega is known to have penned more than 700 plays during his lifetime. He influenced the tradition of Spanish playwriting by mixing humor and tragedy with a strong commitment to tradition.