Play consists of murder in the sand

By Josh Albrecht

What do a virgin, a corpse, a bishop and some knives have in common?

They’re all included in the latest School of Theatre, Art and Dance production called “The Virgin, the Corpse, the Bishop and the Knives.”

The show, developed by Hungarian director Tamas Fodor, opened last Thursday in the Players Theatre. Fodor’s original production was in Hungary with his theater company, Studio K.

The play, based on the Nobel-prize winning author Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s novel “Chronicles of a Death Foretold,” depicts a murder in a small South American village. However, the play is rooted in flashbacks because the murder happened 25 years prior to when the play takes place.

Brad Symons, a third year master’s of fine arts acting major, has taken on the role of Bayardo San Roman in the production.

“I’m wearing all leather,” he said in reference to his costume. “I cannot tie my shoes in this thing.”

The costumes aren’t the only interesting aspects of the play, though, as the entire set consists of a sandbox. Plus, the close quarters of the Players Theatre adds to the play’s tone.

“It’s very visually stunning,” Symons said. “It’s very visceral. The intimacy is what creates that unique atmosphere.”

In fact, that atmosphere could include a little sand for audience members, too.

“The sand gets thrown around,” he added.

In addition to the play’s unique nature, Simmons said that working with Foder was an amazing experience.

“He brought a completely new way of working with all the actors,” Symons said.

The biggest obstacle was that Foder spoke very little English, so he would speak through an interpreter or pantomime what he wanted the actors to do. However, Symons said the actors often could easily tell what he wanted because he was so animated.

“It’s been intense and I’ve learned a lot,” Symons said.

The play continues at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and at 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $14 general admission, $8 for seniors and $7 for students. For more information, call the Stevens Building box office at 753-1600.