UCSB's Department of Theater and Dance Presents LYDIA

UCSB's Department of Theater and Dance presents Lydia, a play by Octavio Solis. Lydia opens February 17th and runs through February 26th in the UCSB Performing Arts Theater. Under the direction of UCSB's Irwin Appel, seven UCSB students come together to portray a charged performance with powerful images that are very relevant in our society today.

Lydia is a production curated by many; it is eclectic, and it brings together the different talents, research and ideas of all artists working on the production. This intense play unfolds in 1970s El Paso, Texas during the Vietnam War. It explores family relationships and how a stranger can bring family secrets to life, forcing everyone to battle them. Staged in UCSB's only black box theater, the performance is much more intimate than many other performances in UCSB's current season. "The ultimate goal is for the audience to absorb the atmosphere of the play and to remember the images long after they've left the space," says Appel.

Coming back from the successful run of last season's The Death of Kings, Director Appel takes on a much more intimate and raw piece. With only seven actors, Appel and his cast are able to dig deep into the research required for a play such as Lydia. "It is a contemporary piece, and a period piece all rolled into one," said Irwin Appel, Director of the BFA Acting Program at UCSB. "It's set in the 1970s, and all of the actors have no idea about that time, so we need to do the same amount of research for this as we would for a play from the 1800s."

Appel is co-teaching a seminar with two professors from other departments to educate students on not only the process of play production, but also the research necessary to perform in a play. "We have been welcoming students in from the beginning," said Appel, "The best way of studying a play is to do one."

Lydia is a play of secrets. So what happens when those secrets are wrenchingly revealed and everything boils to the surface? This poetic and highly imaginative play about loss, forbidden love, the pain of memory and identity, and unfulfilled hopes and dreams poses the question: when secrets are exposed, can life ever be the same? Don't miss the opportunity to be a part of this powerful and raw performance and to experience firsthand how charged and relevant theater can be.

Tickets are on sale now at the UCSB Theater and Dance box office, online at www.theaterdance.ucsb.edu, or by phone (805) 893 2064. Tickets are $17 for general admission and $13 for children, students, seniors or UCSB faculty/staff/alumni.

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