Playwright at the State Department, guest director of the character Comedy About Class at UA

Playwright at the State Department, guest director of the character Comedy About Class at UA

If the university is a melting pot of cultures and ideas, the opening of the University Theater season titled “This B*tch: Esta Sangre Quiero” by MFA playwright Adrienne Dawes. Comedy combines Dawes’ passion and training in stand-up, formal and stand-up comedy; its adaptation of the classics of the Spanish Golden Age by Lope de Vega in 1618; The guest director is originally from Columbia via New Hampshire and New York, Estefania Fadol.

That’s what’s up! Q&A, the writer and director share their thoughts on the show, which opens September 30th at the University Theatre. The premise of the plot is that when Diana, a ruthless and power-hungry influencer, learns that her social media director Teodoro is hooking up with makeup artist Madinosa, it sparks bitter jealousy. If you can’t get it, no one can!

Q: Please tell me about you.

Dawes: I was a quiet and shy kid but very early on I loved reading and telling stories. I’ve made my own novels and comic strips and made audio recordings of myself telling stories out loud (acting out characters’ voices, singing fake songs). In high school, I wrote poetry and began to perform it, but what I loved most was the audience’s laughter.

Fadol: I was born in Columbia and moved to New Hampshire when I was five, where I grew up. I currently live in New York City. As a freelance director and producer, my daily life is always very different. I usually practice on one project and at the same time in pre-production – meetings, research and preparatory work – for upcoming projects. I’m also on the road a lot, as many of my projects take me across the country – like this one!

Q: How do you come up with ideas? Even with adaptation, how do you get from there to here?

Dawes: I don’t think about it so much as “come up with ideas” but listen carefully and maintain a playful sense of curiosity (this results in a lot of searching for me). We are all our main characters living inside a great story with multiple chapters and different genres. Our lives intersect with intricate histories full of rich details. If anything, I’m overwhelmed because there are so many wild, weird, and exciting stories (especially ones featuring Black and POC women/women) and just so much time trying to tell them all.

In adaptation, it pays to really like your source material.

Q: How did you come to direct The Adrienne Show?

Fadul: I had the pleasure of running a Zoom workshop/reading this show back in January 2021 for the Ark Type New Play Festival. I was connected to the show at that point via Fayetteville resident and designer Kim Powers…who designed a very cool set for this upcoming production!

Q: What do you hope the audience will take away from this play?

Dawes: I hope the audience receives a reminder to enjoy the fleeting moments we live with their loved ones. I hope people will see that the “pure” love portrayed on stage is between couples who see and appreciate each other (as they really are, not who they profess to be).

Fadel: Comedy has a unique ability to reveal certain elements of our world and open us up to seeing things in a new way. This play in particular has a great conversation about class at its core. It is a modern adaptation of the Spanish Golden Age classic “El perro del hortelano”. Adrienne has masterfully adapted it to today’s world, accentuating the social hierarchy of the European Renaissance in the Americas today. I hope the public will move away from questioning more deeply about the way our society is built, who has power and who doesn’t and why, what we as a society attach to, and how we as individuals make choices to buy into or reject those values.


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