arts

Civic Theater adapts 1499 'La Celestina'

Local students key to play's production



The Monroe County Civic Theater will perform "La Celestina," a play by Fernando de Rojas and translated from Spanish by James Mabbe and Eric Bentley.

This production is a modern treatment of the 1499 Spanish tragicomedy. Many participants are students, including director Katelin Vesely, a senior at Harmony High School hoping to major in creative writing next fall. Vesely now takes IU courses. While taking a comparative literature course at IU, she came across this play.

"I was looking for something to direct. I liked this play. So I proposed it, and here we are," Vesely said. "The biggest challenge hasn't been with transferring it to modern times. It was more difficult to deal with things I had relied on falling through. The actor playing Calisto ended up having to leave (the cast) two weeks ago … so I have taken over that role, something I try not to do because of bad past experiences."

Another student participating is Kristin Demming, a sophomore playing the role of Melibea, one of the biggest parts.

"I really enjoy the writer of the script. He took the time to talk about little things. How much servants really fathomed what was happening... he talks about the idea of how silly star-crossed love is," Demming said.

Demming said the cast is a big family. She said that despite problems along the way, "everything will come together by Friday's performance. If not, at least it will be entertaining."

Not all participants in the production are students. Bloomington resident Steve Heise is a local actor. He took 15 years off from acting because of a knee injury.

"It feels wonderful to be back onstage. I've been back for two and a half years. I love it," Heise said. "Plus, I don't do anything better."

Vesely said there are many reasons to come see the production.

"It's going to be a fun show," Vesely said. "We have a great cast, fun costumes, and, even though the language may be more difficult for some, we have tried to present it in a way (comprehensible) to a modern audience."

The Monroe County Civic Theater will perform "La Celestina" at 8 p.m. today and Sunday, as well as Jan. 26 and 28, at Rhino's All Ages Music Club, 325 S. Washington St. Admission is $6 for adults, $5 for students and senior citizens.

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