Illustration and design by Sid Watson (@parsleyguy)

Live at Studio 58 
November 23-December 3, 2023 

 “They kept on trying to fool each other, but their blood got the best of them.” 

Recognized for his surreal and socialist works, Lorca’s Blood Wedding is a tragedy of love, repression and duty. Set in rural Spain, a bride is torn between her fiancé and her former lover, and must balance feuds between the families. Blood Wedding is a deeply poetic play that explores the isolation of loyalty versus personal freedom. 

Creative Team

Playwright – Federico García Lorca 
Translator – Langston Hughes
Adapter – Melia Bensussen

Director – Carmen Aguirre
Assistant Director – Jimmy JinPyo Hong 
Stage Manager – Elliot Roberts
Choreographer – Oscar Nieto
Assistant Choreographer – Michelle Harding
Set, Props and Projection Designer – David Roberts
Costume Designer – Amy McDougall
Associate Costume Designer – Melissa McCowell
Lighting Designer – Itai Erdal 
Sound Design – Emad Armoush
Projection Consultant – Candelario Andrade
Intimacy Director – Lisa Goebel
Fight Director – Jonathan Hawley Purvis

Content advisories: use of haze and fog
Run time: 85 minutes, no intermission

Creative Team

Federico-Garcia-Lorca_Headshot.jpgFederico García Lorca is a universally acknowledged poet and artist who came into contact with the arts through music and drawings from an early age and left us with a prolific body of work despite the short span of his life and career. 

As part of the Generation of ‘27, Lorca was an avant-garde poet with a great and curious mind that turned him into the most widely read Spanish poet of all time and an international artist with a rather notable relevance to and influence on contemporary art. 

Langston Hughes Translator

Langston-Hughes_Headshot.pngLangston Hughes (1901-1967) was a poetic innovator and a central figure in the Harlem Renaissance — an arts movement and intellectual revival in the 1920s that celebrated Black cultural expression. Hughes’ work was inspired by his life in New York City’s Harlem, a primarily Black working-class neighborhood at the time. Through his poetry, novels, plays, essays, and children’s books, he sought to honestly depict the joys and hardships of Black lives, avoiding both sentimental idealization and negative stereotypes. Often called “The People’s Poet,” his writing promoted equality, condemned racism and injustice, and helped shape American literature and politics. 
In 1958, Hughes recited his poem “The Weary Blues” on Canada’s “The 7 O’Clock Show”, accompanied by the Doug Parker Band. It was one of the many poems that he wrote that utilized a rhythm similar to that of jazz music, founding the style of poetry called “jazz poetry.”  
Fluent in Spanish from his time spent in Mexico at his father’s ranch, Hughes devoted time to translating authors such as Gabriala Mistral and Federico García Lorca.  
Langston Hughes’s legacy continues to inspire artists across mediums today. Composers frequently set his poems to music and his work has been used in recent episodes of Riverdale, High on the Hog, and Tyler Perry’s Young Dylan.

Melia Bensussen Adapter
Melia-Bensussen_Headshot-min.jpgMelia Bensussen is the sixth artistic director, and the first woman, to lead Hartford Stage. She began her tenure there in 2019, after serving as Department Chair for the Performing Arts Department at Emerson College for eleven years. An Obie-award-winning director and artistic leader, she has directed extensively at leading theatres throughout the country, including productions at the Huntington Theatre Company, Shakespeare & Company, La Jolla Playhouse, Baltimore Center Stage, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the New York Shakespeare Festival, MCC, Primary Stages, Long Wharf Theatre, Cincinnati Playhouse, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Merrimack Repertory Theatre, People’s Light and Theatre Company, Bay Street Theatre and Playwrights Horizons, among others. Raised in Mexico City, Melia is fluent in Spanish and has translated and adapted a variety of texts, including her edition of the Langston Hughes translation of Federico García Lorca’s Blood Wedding published by TCG. A graduate of Brown University, she is the recipient of a Drama League Directing Fellowship and a Princess Grace Directing Fellowship, as well as their top honor, the Statue Award. Melia is the Chair of the Arts Advisory Council for the Princess Grace Foundation and serves as Secretary on the Executive Board of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC).
Carmen Aguirre Director

Carmen-Aguirre_Headshot.jpgCarmen Aguirre is an award-winning theatre artist and author and an Electric Company Theatre Core Artist. She has written and co-written over twenty-five plays and the #1 international bestseller Something Fierce: Memoirs of a Revolutionary Daughter (2012 CBC Canada Reads winner) and its bestselling sequel, Mexican Hooker #1 and My Other Roles Since the Revolution. Her new play Fire Never Dies: The Tina Modotti Project will premiere at the 2024 Chutzpah! Festival. Carmen is developing an adaptation of Euripides’ Medea at Bard on the Beach, writing The Consent Club (an adaptation of Molière’s The Learned Ladies), commissioned by Toronto’s Factory Theatre, and adapting Linebaugh and Rediker’s The Many-Headed Hydra for The Stratford Festival. Carmen has over eighty film, television, and stage acting credits, and twenty theatre directing credits. She is a 2020 Siminovitch Prize finalist, and a graduate of Studio 58. 

Jimmy JinPyo Hong Assistant Director


Jimmy-JinPyo-Hong---Headshot-2.jpgBorn and raised in South Korea, Jimmy came to Canada at the age of 16. He pursued his education at the Canadian College of Performing Arts and Studio 58. Jimmy is deeply grateful to be a part of this project and would like to express his utmost gratitude to Carmen and the faculty of Studio 58. They have consistently supported him and provided him with exciting opportunities. 

Selected past theatre credits include: 
Directing: CATS: Creating A Transformative Space (Studio 58; Risky Nights Spring 2022)  

Performing: A Life Sentence (Vancouver Fringe Festival); Dead Korean Girl Comedy Show (Rice & Beans Theatre); Reframed (Electric Company Theatre); Anon(ymous), Antony and Cleopatra, Chicken Wings & Jell-O Shots, Cabaret, Mortified, I Know What I Saw (Studio 58); Zorba The Musical, Twelfth Night, Lend Me A Tenor (Company C); How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, The Grapes of Wrath, Footloose (CCPA). 

Elliot Roberts Stage Manager


Elliot-Roberts_Headshot.jpgAs a graduate of Studio 58’s Production Program, Elliot is delighted to be invited back as the Stage Manager for Blood Wedding! She grew up in Winnipeg but moved to Vancouver in 2017 to pursue her career as a costume/prop designer, ceramic/visual artist and stage manager. She is honored to have the opportunity to create and grow alongside so many other emerging artists and peers!

Previous credits include: Props Builder and Assistant Set Designer, Metamorphoses (Studio 58); Props Designer, King Lear (Promethean Theatre); Assistant Set/Props Designer, Like It or Not (Green Thumb); Stage Manager, TomorrowLove (Studio 58); Costume Designer, Our Town (Peninsula Productions); Co. Set/Prop Designer, Hot House (Studio 58). 

Oscar Nieto Choreographer

Oscar-Neito_Headshot.jpgOscar Nieto has become one of North America’s most acclaimed flamenco dancers since launching his professional dance career at the Chicago Lyric Opera House with Antonio Gades in 1969. 

He has been dubbed “a flamenco Fred Astaire” by the LA Times in recognition of his technical accomplishment and charisma as a performer. 

In 2005 he was awarded the Jacqueline Lemieux prize – the first time the award has gone to a flamenco artist. “As one of very few senior male flamenco dancers in the country, he is leaving an important legacy for flamenco dance across Canada.” 

Michelle Harding Assistant Choreographer

Michelle-Harding_Headshot.JPGA flamenco dance performer since 2001, Michelle is known for her improvisational instinct and engaging presence. She has trained extensively in Canada, Europe and the US. Among many others, she is particularly proud to have worked with Pajaro Negro (New York) and Miguel Cañas (Madrid), Mozaico Flamenco Dance Theatre (Vancouver) and Raíces y Alas Flamenco Project (Vancouver). She is the recipient of numerous grants from the Canada Council. 

She has performed and taught across Canada, from BC to Newfoundland. Michelle has created commissioned pieces for dance companies and schools throughout the Lower Mainland. She currently teaches with her mentor, Oscar Nieto, and performs most often with her flamenco trio, Calle Verde. 

David Roberts Set, Props and Projection Designer

David-Roberts_Headshot.jpgDavid completed his MA in scenography in London and Prague and has since designed shows across Canada and the UK. He brings an artist’s aesthetic to his search to find the visual and emotional essence of a piece. In addition to theatre, his interests range from multimedia sculpture, interior and landscape design and competitive modern fencing.  

Recent stage work includes Mamma Mia! for the Arts Club; Kill Me Now for Touchstone; Body Awareness, Lungs, Snowflake and Instantaneous Blue for Mitch and Murray; and Crazy for You for Royal City Musical Theatre. In process is a multi-dimensional theatrical installation at Theatre Radost, Brno, Czechia. 

David is a multiple Jessie nominee and winner, has been nominated for the Canadian Screen and Leo awards and is a member of the Associated Designers of Canada.  

Examples of his work can be seen at 

Amy McDougall Costume Designer


Amy-McDougall_Headshot.jpgAmy McDougall is a theatrical costume designer based in Vancouver, BC, where she is also the Head of Wardrobe at Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival. Recent costume design credits include productions for the Arts Club Theatre (The 12 Dates of Christmas; Cost of Living; Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley; Fun Home; Men in White), Company Ci (Throe; Limb(e)s), Gateway Theatre (China Doll; Yoga Play), Studio 58 (Cabaret; Angels in America), Pacific Theatre (Almost, Maine; Holy Mo!: A Christmas Show; Common Grace, The Whipping Man), Firehall Arts Centre (Dead Metaphor) and Touchstone Theatre (Late Company). Amy is a graduate of the University of British Columbia.

Melissa McCowell Associate Costume Designer

Melissa-McCowell_headshot.jpgMelissa is a theatre artist based on the traditional, ancestral and unceded lands of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) peoples (Vancouver), with a focus on Costume Design and Stage Management. 

She has had the pleasure of working with a number of incredible companies including After Party Theatre, Bard on the Beach, Caravan Farm Theatre, Carousel Theatre for Young People, Green Thumb Theatre, ITSAZOO Productions, Presentation House Theatre, Ruby Slippers Theatre, Studio 58, The Elbow Theatre, Theatre Replacement, Théâtre la Seizième and Touchstone Theatre. 

Recent credits include: Costume Designer for The Kitchen with Studio 58 and Assistant Head of Wardrobe/Head of Backstage Wardrobe with Bard on the Beach for their 2023 Season. 

Melissa is a graduate of Queen's University and Studio 58. 

Itai Erdal Lighting Designer

Itai-Erdal_Headshot.pngItai is delighted to be back at Studio 58, where he designed his very first show in 2003 and 12 productions since.  

Itai is the founder of The Elbow Theatre, for whom he co-wrote and performed in Soldiers of Tomorrow (Push Festival 2022), Hyperlink (Firehall 2018), This Is Not A Conversation (Belfry 2017) and A Very Narrow Bridge (Chutzpah 2016). Itai’s one-man show: How to Disappear Completely (The Chop, 2011) had 26 remounts in 22 cities. It won the best director award at the 2013 SummerWorks Festival and was shortlisted for Edinburg’s Total Theatre Award and the Brighton Fringe Award, and to the first prize at the 2014 Dublin Fringe.  

As a lighting designer, Itai has won six Jessie Richardson Awards, the Jack King Award, a Dora Mavor Moore Award, Victoria’s Spotlight Choice Award, a Winnipeg Theatre Award, a Guthrie Award and the Design Award at the 2008 Dublin Fringe Festival. He was shortlisted to the Siminovitch Award for Design in 2018., 

Emad Armoush Sound Designer

Emad-Armoush_headshot.jpgEmad Armoush is a Syrian/Canadian multi-instrumentalist musician and singer, active in the Arabic, flamenco, world and creative music scene of Vancouver since 2000. Inspired to bring his roots from Arabic traditions into his current musical life and influences, and awarded grants from the BC and Canada Arts Councils, he released his debut album with the members of his group Rayhan, some of Canada’s finest creative musicians. He is motivated and now busy composing and arranging new music for their planned sophomore album. Emad has performed in music festivals across Canada and Europe in a multitude of collaborations. 

Candelario Andrade Projection Consultant

Candelario-Andrade.jpgRecent design credits include: Julius Caesar (Bard on the Beach); I Carry Your Heart With Me (egg theatre); Little Red Warrior and His Lawyer (Savage Society/Belfry/NAC); Tree Drum (Theatre Terrific); Mom’s The Word: Talking Turkey (Arts Club); White Girls in Moccasins (The Frank); Six of One: New Play Festival (Studio 58); White Noise (Savage Society/Firehall); Clean/Espejos (Neworld); Do you mind if I sit here? (Theatre Replacement). As a picture editor, some of his credits include the film Done/Undone (Bard on the Beach) and several digital productions for the Belfry Theatre as well as several short films and animations. Cande is a Projection Design instructor at Studio 58. 

Lisa Goebel Intimacy Director

Lisa-Goebel.jpgLisa is an interdisciplinary artist working as a choreographer, actor, intimacy director and producer. She completed her Intimacy Certification through Intimacy Directors and Coordinators and as an intimacy director, Lisa has worked with companies including Arts Club, Bard on the Beach, The Firehall Arts Centre, Gateway Theatre, Pacific Theatre, Touchstone Theatre and Urban Ink. Upcoming: Associate Movement Director & Intimacy Director for Choir Boy (Arts Club) and Movement Consultant for Red Velvet (Arts Club). She is a graduate of Studio 58.

Jonathan Hawley Purvis Fight Director

Jonathan-Purvis-1.jpgJonathan is a fight director, actor, choreographer and stunt performer based out of Vancouver. Select fight direction credits include: As You Like It, Julius Caesar, Henry V, Romeo & Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Macbeth, The Taming of the Shrew, Shakespeare in Love (Bard on the Beach); As You Like It (Chicago Shakespeare, Milwaukee Rep); Antony & Cleopatra, Three Musketeers, Julius Caesar, Romeo & Juliet, (St. Lawrence Shakespeare); Silver Arrow, Shakespeare In Love, West Side Story, Romeo & Juliet, The Penelopiad, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Citadel Theatre); and I Am For You (Concrete Theatre).

Cast & Crew

In alphabetical order by character:

Boy – Caylen Creative (he/him)
Child – Serena Hatch (she/her)
Death – Lucy Jeffery (they/them)
Father – Samuel Walmsley-Byrne (he/him)
First Maiden – Olivia Manojlovic (she/her) and Jillian Burke (they/she)
First Woodcutter – Filip Fufezan (he/him)
First Youth – Jillian Burke (they/she)
Girl – Michelle Avila Navarro (she/her)
Guest – Jenna Leigh Morgan (she/her)
Leonardo – Terrence Zhou (he/him)
Moon – Janavi Chawla (she/they)
Mother – Sewit Eden Haile (she/her)
Mother-in-Law – Samantha Kerr (she/her)
Neighbour – Kat Stevens (she/her)
Second Maiden – Marianna Zouzoulas (she/her) and Jenna Morgan (she/her)
Second Woodcutter – Yorlene Bernido (she/her)
Second Youth – Filip Fufezan (he/him)
Servant – Lynny Bonin (she/her)
Third Maiden – Marielle Ortinez (she/her)
Third Woodcutter – Marielle Ortinez (she/her)
Wife – Emma Soothill (she/her)

Studio 58 offers professional theatre training for actors and production personnel. The six terms of practical training consist of intensive classroom work as well as performance and backstage experience in productions. Production students and third term acting students operate sound, lighting and video and act as running crew and stage management.

Stage Management
Assistant Stage Managers – Kathryn Kerby (she/they), Kady Yeung (she/her)

Assistant to the Costume Designer – Stefanie Lott (she/her)
Crew Head – Philippa Ryder (they/she)
Crew – Lucy Mclachlan (she/her), Chhavi Disawar (she/her), Clayton Melanson (he/him), Big Ben (he/him)

Crew Head – Carol Chu (she/her)
Crew – Isaac Johnson (he/him), Dylan McNulty (he/him), Gus Setala-Gay (they/them), Ellie McCullough (she/they), Carys Watts (she/her)

Crew Leads – Alek Cisak (he/him), Tresha Thamilchelvan (she/her)
Crew – Ava Knight (she/they)

Crew Head – Ella Wood (she/her)
Crew – Izel De Lara (she/her), Michelle Molina (she/her), Hernán Alonso Adrianzén Abanto (he/him)

Crew Head – Gabe Nemeth (he/him)
Crew – Jacob Ellis (he/him), Ingrid Suarez (she/her)

Assistant to the Set Designer – Starlynn Chen (she/her)
Crew Head – Lou Marshall (they/she)
Crew – Maria Morena (she/her), Cian Li (he/him), Saidi Mader (she/her), Stella Jack-Rennie (they/she), Aidan Currie (he/him)

Crew Head – Francis Santillan (he/him)
Crew – Evan Sterns (he/him)

Staff & Faculty

Artistic Director – Courtenay Dobbie (she/her)
Associate Director – David Hudgins (he/him)
Technical Director – Kevin MacDonald (he/him)
Production Manager – Ruth Bruhn (she/her)
Communications and Marketing Manager – Halla Bertrand (she/her)
Voice and Dialect Coach – Brad Gibson (he/him)


A big thank you to the following people, organizations and companies for supporting Blood Wedding: