REIMAGINED SPANISH TRAGEDY “YERMA” LAUNCHES ECU SCREENS’ SPRING SEASON

Billie Piper stars in "Yerma," to be presented by ECU SCREENS on Saturday, Jan. 20.

ECU SCREENS kicks off its spring season with “Yerma,” Simon Stone’s radical reimagining of Spanish playwright Federico Garcia Lorca’s dramatic masterpiece.

Recorded live at the Young Vic Theatre in London, this highly celebrated adaptation will be shown in the Raymond J. Estep Multimedia Center of the Bill S. Cole University Center on Saturday, Jan. 20, at 6:30 p.m. General admission tickets are $10. Admission is free for ECU students.

Transplanting Lorca’s searing tragedy from rural Spain in the early 20th Century to contemporary London, Stone’s “Yerma” features Billie Piper (Penny Dreadful) as a woman in her thirties who is driven to the unthinkable by her desperate desire to have a child. Piper won the Evening Standard Best Actress award for a performance that builds to a staggering, shocking, climax.

Critics have praised Piper’s performance as "spellbinding" (The Evening Standard) and "devastatingly powerful" (The Daily Telegraph), while describing the production as "stunning, searing, unmissable" (Mail on Sunday) and "an extraordinary theatrical triumph" (The Times).

This production includes strobe lighting and strong language and is for mature audiences.

“Yerma” is the first of four recorded-live stage productions to be presented this spring by ECU SCREENS, which is collaborating with NT Live, the National Theatre's groundbreaking project to broadcast the best of British theatre to cinemas around the world.

ECU SCREENS will also host ECU’s Eighth Annual Foreign Film Festival, featuring foreign-language films on the first three Fridays in February. All festival films will screened at 4 p.m. Admission is free. After each screening, lucky viewers will receive door prizes relevant to the featured film including books, works of art, DVDs, and food. Other viewers will win generous gift certificates donated by area businesses, including Delicias’ Mexican restaurant and The Hampton Inn.

This year’s Foreign Film lineup includes:

  • “Neruda,” a Spanish-language film from Chile about a determined police inspector (Gael García Bernal) who is hunting Chilean poet Pablo Neruda (Luis Gnecco) after he goes into hiding in 1948. Neruda will be screened on February 2.
  • “The Black Monk,” a recorded-live Russian-language stage production based on a short story by Anton Chekov about a philosophy student whose hallucinations fill him with joy and energy . . . until they lead to his ruin. “The Black Monk” will be screened on Feb. 9.
  •  “Nise: The Heart of Madness,” a Portuguese-language film based on the true story of a Brazilian psychiatrist in the 1950s who rejects electroshock therapy to treat schizophrenia and encourages her patients to create art. Before the screening, ECU faculty will participate in a panel discussion and Q&A on art therapy.

On Feb. 20, ECU SCREENS and Linscheid Library Academic Friends will host “The Spectre of Marx: An Interdisciplinary Conference on Marxism, Its Origins, and Its Ghostly Presence in Our Contemporary World,” which will feature two, 75-minute discussion panel/question and answer sessions starting at 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m.

 The Q and A sessions feature Drs. Joshua Grasso (English and Language), Preston Draper (Political Science), Jennifer McMahon (English and Languages), Michael Scott (Business) and Greg Sutton (History). The conference will culminate on Feb. 21 with a 6:30 screening of the NT Live production of the Bridge Theater's new comedy Young Marx, starring Rory Kinnear.

On April 28 at 7 p.m., ECU SCREENS will present Stephen Sondheim’s legendary musical Follies, starring Imelda Staunton, recorded live at the Olivier Theatre in London. Before the screening, at 6:00 p.m., ECU Showtime will provide “singing service” to guests who have booked dinner reservations in advance. Twenty-five dollar reservations include tickets to Follies, with all profits benefitting ECU Showtime.

The spring season will conclude on Friday, May 4 at 6:30, when fans of Imelda Staunton are invited to return to campus for NT Live’s production of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? recorded live at the Harold Pinter Theatre in London.

To learn more about ECU SCREENS and the spring schedule, like the ECU SCREENS Facebook page or visit www.ecuscreens.blogspot.com. For more information about the Royal National Theatre in Great Britain and the NT Live screenings, visit www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/. Dr. Rebecca Nicholson-Weir, co-director of ECU SCREENS, may be contacted at (580) 559-5929 or rnichlsn@ecok.edu.

-ECU-

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