In November, second-year PhD student Eric “C” Heaps will be presenting the world premiere of Refusing the Flower (A recusa da flor) by Lucienne Guedes Fahrer, a playwright, director, actor, and theatre artist from São Paulo, Brazil.
In his director’s note, Eric shares his interest in both the playwright and her play, which he translated and directed:
“I first met Lucienne last year at an event titled Dramaturgia Concisa e Contemporânea (Concise and Contemporary Playwriting), where playwrights have 90 minutes to write a 5-10 minute scene which will be performed that night; Lucienne was the winner that night. The following week I attended her play Banda Hamlet, a rock show where the characters from Hamlet come back from the dead to retell their stories using popular music. I was hooked from that point. And since even award-winning contemporary playwrights from Brazil are unfortunately unknown in the United States, I decided to bring one of her plays to you.”
A founding member of Teatro da Vertigem (Vertigo Theatre), as well as a member of Cia. dos Dramaturgos (Company of Playwrights), Fahrer has been principal at the Free School of Theatre in Santo André and a resident-artist at the São Paulo School of Theatre. In addition to her career as a professional artist, she is now pursing a doctoral degree from the University of São Paulo.
It is an interesting turn of events that the first fully staged production of Refusing the Flower should be in English rather than Portuguese. The play’s translation and eventual production served as a practice as research project for Eric who plans to pursue translation theory in his dissertation next year. In part, Refusing the Flower’s American premiere asked questions key to Eric’s research about how meaning is transmitted when both actors and spectators are working in a language that they have no prior experience with:
“The history of translation is marked by a pendulum swing of public opinion regarding its validity as a practice. Romans translated and adapted Greek theatre, believing that by putting it into Latin they improved it. Later, early translations of the Bible into languages other than Latin brought people to the stake to be burned. But whatever the opinion towards translation’s viability, we often take translation for granted in the theatre world. Partially in order to combat this tendency, and also to demonstrate the validity of bilingualism in American theatre, for this production I’ve maintained some of the Portuguese in the script. By so doing, I hope to further various dramatic functions of the script and provide something more meaningful than would be provided by either language alone.”
Eric collaborated with Fahrer on on the final draft of his translation and plans to film the project in the hopes that the piece might continue to be developed both in the US and Brazil. The production features IU students and community members, most of whom are making their premiere on IU stages as well.
See Lucienne Guedes Fahrer’s Refusing the Flower, translated and directed by Eric “C” Heaps.
November 9-10 @ 7:30 pm; November 11 @ 12:00 noon
2nd Floor, Lee Norvell Theatre & Drama Center
275 N. Jordan Ave. | Bloomington, Indiana 47403
Lauren Sagendorph as Júlia
Keenan H. Crotty as Lúcio
Mary Emma Heaps as Young Girl/Mother/Echo/Band
Amanda Wenz as Enemy/Pregnant Woman/Band
Nick Pappas as Pregnant Woman’s Husband/Echo/Band
Clarence Knapp – Band
Director……………………….Eric “C” Heaps
Stage Manager………………..Jenna Johnson
Composer/Music Advisor……..Ben Taylor
Lighting Design……………….Justin Bennett
Costume Design………Mary Emma Heaps
Additional music by Fito Paez