Last week I went to see one of Federico Lorca's most famous works, La Casa de Bernarda Alba, a play which throws under scrutiny the norms of 1930s Spanish bourgeois society. Directed by Dean Zayas and presented by Teatro Circulo, the drama displayed the conflict between passion and tradition/societal roles. Though it was my first exposure to Lorca's work, I cannot imagine finding a better introduction than through Teatro Circulo. With its humble and unassuming set, its intimate proximity to the audience, and its skillful yet subtle actors, Zayas' production showed more with less. I immediately experienced the powerfully somber mood from the onset and felt a closeness with the characters which one doesn't often find in theaters. It is true that at times the actors stood only inches away from the audience and, on occasion, utilized the same entrance as the audience (there is a reason the company politely requests prompt attendance).
The primary reason for the audience/character connection, however, was found in the actors' innate ability to speak and move extremely naturally. It was if they were inviting another sibling to sit down at the table with them and listen. Their gestures, though often small and discreet, were powerful enough to resonate throughout the room, making the show immensely successful and not to be missed.
Fear not, all non-Spanish speaking viewers- there are English supertitles to keep everyone engaged.