For the 12th year running, the Apollinaire Theatre Company will present a free bilingual outdoor immersive production in English and Spanish, this year choosing Federico García Lorca’s classic 1932 play Blood Wedding. But this will be the company’s first summer performing in Chelsea’s new PORT Park, taking advantage of the resplendent harbor views and amphitheater located inside of what was once a large oil storage tank.
And if you’ve been looking for a reason to pay a visit to Chelsea, it is doubtful that a more attractive one will present itself this year. PORT Park—gorgeous, serene, and right on the water—is a short journey across the Tobin. Easily accessible by public transportation (it’s a quick 10-minute ride on the 111 bus from Haymarket) or an inexpensive Uber, Chelsea’s proximity to Boston only underscores its diamond-in-the-rough reputation. And no, it’s not as dangerous as the news reports out of there would have you believe.
Lorca is best known for (aside from Blood Wedding), Yerma, and The House of Bernarda Alba, and is arguably one of Spain’s greatest poets and playwrights. He inspired a generation of artists from Spain and Latin America with his visionary disregard for theatrical conventions and his bold explorations of class, sexuality, and the role of women—all taboo subjects in his time, to be sure.
Lorca reportedly wrote Blood Wedding after reading a newspaper article about a young bride in Andalusia who abandoned her husband on their wedding day to escape with her childhood sweetheart. It is an inventive, enduring, and tragic work about unfulfilled love, deception, fate, and the cycle of life. And for the first time, Apollinaire is joining forces with another area theater company: Escena Latina Teatro, who will be performing its own unique Spanish-language version of the play on Friday nights with an entirely different cast in an entirely separate production; it’s a rare treat to have two opportunities to see such an important play in such an exciting setting. (The Escena Latina Teatro production will also be produced in Mozart Park later this month.)
Apollinaire’s English-language production, directed by Danielle Fauteux Jacques, has a cast of 17 Boston-area professional actors and musicians, with original music by David Reiffel. The staging is also environmental, in that the audience will follow the actors to multiple locations within the park.
Outdoor theater is one of the great pleasures of the summer months, and the fact that there is so precious little of it in the Boston area is a tragedy. And being free, this is a no-brainer, must-see event this summer. Audiences are encouraged to bring some blankets or lawn chairs and pack a picnic; Apollinaire is also working on getting some food trucks lined up for the performances. With incredible harbor views as a backdrop, now is the perfect time to rediscover Chelsea and take in some award-winning theater in one of Boston’s newest parks.
BLOOD WEDDING. JULY 8-23. PORT PARK, 99 MARGINAL ST., CHELSEA. FREE. FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT APOLLINAIRETHEATRE.COM