UVA Drama to Premiere LOVE'S A BITCH by Dave Dalton

Friday, February 16, 2018

The UVA Department of Drama will premiere Dave Dalton’s Love’s a Bitch February 22 – March 1, 2018 in the Ruth Caplin Theatre.  Dalton’s play, freely adapted from Don Gil de las calzas verdes the 17th century work of Tirso de Molina, updates the play to a contemporary view of a woman who seeks revenge after having been dumped by her lover.  The resulting tragi-comic play follows Doña Juana who is jilted by Don Gil for a wealthier woman. Juana steals his identity and uses it to win the heart of his new love as her revenge.  Complications arise, both comic and tragic, as Juana goes from victim to villain.

Love’s a Bitch will be presented February 22-24 at 8 p.m., February 24 at 2 p.m., February 27 & 28 at 8 p.m., and March 1 at 8 p.m. in the Ruth Caplin Theatre.  Tickets are $14.00 for adults, $12.00 for UVA faculty, staff and UVA Alumni Association members, and $8.00 for students. They are currently available online at www.artsboxoffice.virginia.edu, by calling 434-924-3376, or in-person from noon until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at the UVA Arts Box Office, located in the lobby of the Drama building.  Full-time UVA students may receive one free ticket if reserved at least 24 hours in advance of their desired show date.

Dalton, who is also directing the play, was drawn to the comedia works of the Spanish Golden Age because they are tragi-comic, have surprising turns of character and, in the case of Tirso de Molina, depict strong female characters.   “I have been working on this script on and off for quite a while, working with different translations of Molina’s play and trying to update the language and action of the play,” Dalton said.   “Molina wrote in verse and each translation offers new interpretations, so it was difficult for me to get to what I feel a contemporary audience will appreciate.”  Dalton hopes that audiences will question the parallels and differences in the lives of woman today and the women of 1600s Spain. 

In developing, Love’s a Bitch, Dalton had a staged reading of the full work at Portland Stage in Maine in April 2017.  This enabled me to get feedback from the actors and audience and allowed me to rewrite portions of the play to make the plot and language more understandable to a contemporary audience,”  Dalton said.  “Spanish Golden Age plays were performed in corrales, which are similar in design to the Black Friar Theatre and the Ruth Caplin Theatre with its thrust stage gives us that affect.”

The Department of Drama will host “Revisions and New Versions: Classic Spanish Theatre in Adaptation,” a discussion on the role of adaptation and appropriation of bringing classic theatre to contemporary audiences. This free event, supported by the Page-Barbour Fund will be held on Friday, February 23 at 4:30 p.m. in the Ruth Caplin Theatre with Professor Harley Erdman of University of Massachusetts-Amherst and Professor Barbara Fuchs of UCLA. 

Harley Erdman is a dramaturg, playwright, and scholar whose work focuses on adaptation and translation.  His translations of Tirso de Molina’s Jealous of Herself and Marta the Divine were published in 2012 in companion volumes by Aris & Phillips.  With colleague Gina Kaufmann and composer Aaron Jones, he is adapting Tirso de Molina’s original Don Juan play, The Trickster of Seville, into a new musical set on a contemporary college campus. 

Barbara Fuchs is a professor in the departments of English and also Spanish and Portuguese at UCLA, as well as director of the UCLA Center for 17th- and 18th-Century Studies and UCLA Clark Library.  She is an expert in early modern Spanish and English literature.  Fuchs also directs the UCLA Working Group on the Comedia in Translation and Performance.  Her most recent books are “The Poetics of Piracy,” (Penn Press 2013) a study of the occlusion of Spain in English literary history and, with Aaron Ilika and Larissa Brewer-García, The Abencerraje and “Ozmin and Daraxa,” (Penn Press 2014) a translation and critical edition of two maurophile novellas.  Current projects include a book on the picaresque and the limits of Spain, a Norton Critical Edition of Spanish Golden Age theater, and a translation of the newly rediscovered Lope de Vega play Mujeres y criados.

Parking for UVA Drama performances is available at the Culbreth Road Parking Garage, conveniently located alongside the theaters.