Season Selects: The River Bride

Posted March 16, 2022

Apt2022 Web Heros Horiz River Bride Blog

Choosing which plays to see in a season is always a tough decision. But we've got you! Learn a little more about the unique greatness of each of this summer's plays in the weekly Season Selects series. This week, Marisela Treviño Orta's beautiful romance The River Bride.

The River Bride

By Marisela Treviño Orta

Directed by Robert Ramirez

Fast Facts

Playing: Touchstone Theatre | June 17 – September 30
Featuring: Gabriela Castillo, Eduardo Curley-Carrillo, Erica Cruz Hernández, Melisa Pereyra, Ronald Román-Meléndez & Triney Sandoval
Genre: Romance / Contemporary Drama
Go If You Liked: Pride and Prejudice (2015), Edward Albee’s Seascape (2015)
Cyrano de Bergerac (2017)
Last at APT: 2018 Winter Words Reading. This will be the first time fully staged!

About the Play

A mystery emerges from a river, and a fable takes flight. It’s unabashedly romantic; nestled in the everyday, and buoyed by magic. It slips seamlessly into the world of plays that live here – contemporary and eternal, capturing the ever-shifting story that spins between lovers and among families. Relationships like this require something braver than love. They require trust. The kind that puts your heart on notice. It’s a challenge that’s part thrill and part threat. Rising to it may be the only hope for happily-ever-after.

Marisela Treviño Orta is the poet-turned-playwright behind a beautiful trilogy of plays inspired by Latinx mythology and Grimm fairy tales. The first play in the trilogy, The River Bride, premiered at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in 2016, and the series is rounded out by the plays Wolf at the Door and Alcira. In an interview with The San Francisco Theater Pub, Treviño Orta describes what it's like writing plays as a poet.

"Poets attend to line breaks (breath), word choice, imagery, lyricism, space on the page. Everything I learned as a poet is applicable to playwriting...I’m inspired by images, drawn to them, and use them as a way to construct narratives. When I write, I think about the visual language in the play—symbolism and also what the audience hears. While a sound designer will realize that soundscape, I think playwrights can create a whole world on stage using dialog, images, and sound." You can learn more about this fascinating artist in her 2016 interview for The 50 Playwrights Project.

The River Bride is set in Brazil and inspired by Amazonian folklore, using poetry to explore the many facets of love, and the courage required to open your heart to it. About the thrill, and the unexpected sacrifice, and how love changes over time.

Artistic Director Brenda DeVita says:

“This is a play that we’ve been wanting to produce for a long time now. It was a Winter Words reading in 2018, and we knew right away it was something special – beautiful and romantic and just exquisitely written. We had it on the schedule for 2020, and we all know what happened there. But it’s finally going to happen! The playwright, Marisela Treviño Orta is a genius with poetic language and family dynamics. And our director, the lovely Robert Ramirez, was the Voice & Text Director on the original production at Ashland, and the two of them are friends. And Triney Sandoval was in the original cast of the play. So it’s all come together in a way that feels kind of perfect. I can’t wait for people to see this play in the Touchstone. It’s all the things we love about storytelling at APT, and still adds a new dimension to the work we do here.”