The Newman University Theatre Department is preparing for their next big production — Lope de Vega’s “The Dog in the Manger” (El Perro del Hortelano).
The performances will take place at 8 p.m. March 1-3 and 2 p.m. March 4 in the De Mattias Performance Hall. Tickets are $12 for general admission, $10 for seniors and military, $5 for Newman faculty and staff and free for Newman students with an ID.
Lope de Vega was a contemporary of William Shakespeare, and like Shakespeare was a prolific playwright who wrote approximately 500 plays. One of his most popular plays, “The Dog in the Manger,” is a reference to the Greek fable, translated by Laura Gibbes: “There was a dog lying in a manger who did not eat the grain, but who nevertheless prevented the horse from being able to eat anything either.”
The play revolves around the comedic conflict of Countess Diana, who rejects her aristocratic suitors and falls in love with her secretary, Teodoro. But Teodoro is in love with Diana’s maid. Therefore, Diana is unwilling to let the couple marry, but she herself will not marry Teodoro.
Director of Theatre Mark Mannette, the play’s director, said, “I am excited to direct this play because I have never directed a play by Lope de Vega. I think he is an important figure in Spanish literature and I want more people to be aware of him and appreciate him. We also have developed our own version of the text, so it will have a classical feel to it but with more contemporary language.”
Senior Trevor Farney will portray the character Tristan. He said his favorite part of acting in the play “is the challenge of doing something from a completely different time period and land.”
Farney added, “It forces me to think outside the norms of English thinkers. I must understand the culture of Spain in Vega’s time.”
Sophomore Kayla Victor will be taking on the role of Anarda. This is Victor’s stage debut. She expressed her gratefulness and honor of being a part of the production.