Spring, 2005
as one of two one-act plays, along with
Simply Maria
Directed by Ellen O'Keefe

Place: Spain - Time: 18th Century

A tale by the celebrated Spanish author, Federico García Lorca. Although he was executed at age 38 during the Spanish Civil War, Lorca’s works survive and are now considered the best Spanish plays of the twentieth century. This play, characterized as an erotic lace-paper valentine in four scenes, centers on the relationship of an old man and his young wife. In this dark-edged farce the old Don Perlimplín awakens the morning after his wedding night wearing cuckold’s horns and finding evidence that there have been five visitors in the night. He then chooses a most unexpected course of action to deal with his wife’s suitors. Dramatic Pub. Co. Catalog.


Director's Notes about The Love of Don Perlimplin

At first glance, you may be wondering why these two plays (along with Simply Maria) should be performed together in the same evening. Although they display different types, styles and time periods, below the surface, they share more in common than a balcony. Both Belisa in Don Perlimplin, and Maria in Simply Maria face the idea of forced marriages while they struggle to find their own sense of fulfillment; for Belisa it’s true love and for Maria it’s college and independence. Also, both Don Perlimplin and Carmen are willing to endure their partner’s infidelity for the fleeting promise of love from the spouses they adore.

When I read Josefina Lopez’s notes on Simply Maria, I knew that she was writing specifically about the culture she grew up in, but her experiences struck a chord of recognition within me. The character of her father, Ricardo, reminded me a lot of my own Irish immigrant grandfather - different accent, same point of view. My first-generation American mother, who was the salutatorian of her graduating class, was offered a full scholarship to Rosary College, but her parents did not let her accept it. She was the eldest of six children, and they were waiting impatiently for her to graduate so she could go to work and help out the family. In honor of her sacrifice, and the journey of all immigrant women and their daughters who struggle to recreate their identities in the American dream, I dedicate this show to my mother, Terese O’Keefe.

Special thanks to: Rodney Higginbotham, Anna Antaramian and Dan Wirth for their support, Michael Montenegro for the spectacular masks in Simply Maria, and Ruthann Schallert Wygal for her lovely arrangements of music in Don Perlimplin.

Ellen O'Keefe, spring of 2005

The Meaning of the Cuckold’s Horns

What is the significance of the horns that suddenly appear on Don Perlimplin the morning after his wedding night? Traditionally, these horns are the sign of a man whose wife has been unfaithful to him. The "wearing of the horns" is based on a legendary custom in ancient European villages in which a man would be forced to wear antlers on his head if his wife gave birth to a child that was clearly not his. The word "cuckold" is a reference to the cuckoo bird, who lays it’s eggs in another bird’s nest. Even if this humiliating ritual never really occurred, there are numerous references in literature to women "putting the horns" on their husband’s heads.

Don Perlimplin.....Clark Weber
Belisa.....Stephanie Tichenor
Marcolfa.....Melanie McCoy
Belisa’s Mother.....Carrie Peters
Sprite 1.....Elizabeth Roig
Sprite 2.....Candice Liapis
Belisa’s Lovers.....Alexis Ginay
               .....Juan Montano
               .....Jesse Menendez
               .....Bryan Avis
               .....Eric Lopez
Guitarist.....Eric Lopez
Vocalist.....Linnea Carrera

Clark T. Weber (Don Perlimplin) is a senior at Northeastern majoring in Communication with a minor in theatre. He has lived and performed in Chicago since 1987. Although, this is his first role in a Stage Center production, he was last involved in the Stage Center’s production of Buried Child as the stage manger. For the past five years, he has been the alter ego of the Seadog Speedboat Rides mascot on Navy Pier. Other past stage credits include Dickie Despin in Tony’s & Tony’s Wedding, Woody Allen in Hollywood Squares Live!, and Judas in Jesus The Wonder Years-The Musical. He is currently appearing in the Children’s Theatre Workshop production of Happily Ever After. Other acting credits include Photo Assistant #1 in the film Baby’s Day Out, as juror Harvey Pilsky in the TV show Early Edition and as a nerd in the music video Short Short Man. He has also sung with the DePaul Community Chorus. Clark would like to thank his grandmother for all her love and support and give props to all his talented fellow cast members and the hard working crew.

Stephanie Tichenor, (Belisa) a true southern belle, is originally from New Orleans. She is a junior Communication major and Theatre minor here at NEIU. She was last seen on stage in Stage Center’s production of Life is a Dream. She is thrilled to be working with such a giving, talented, not to mention incredibly good looking cast, director and crew, She would like to thank her friends, family and monkey for their constant love and support.

Melanie S. McCoy (Marcolfa) is finishing her final semester studying Communication, Media and Theatre here at NEIU. She is excited to be acting with some of the most talented actors in the world. You may remember Melanie from such NEIU productions such as: Little Murders (Wedding Guest) and The Way of All Fish (Miss Riverton). Melanie would like to thank Professor O’Keefe for this opportunity. She would also like to thank her loving family for their support, and those amazing friends who helped her through some tough times.

Carrie Peters (Belisa's Mother) is a senior at NEIU majoring in Communication, Theater and Media. She appeared in the Stage Center production of Way of All Fish. With love and thanks to Rebecca, her most important production of all.

Liz Roig
(Sprite 1) was last seen performing a one-woman Othello in the downtown “L” stations. She was raised from infancy by a pack of wolverines and a sherpa. She is currently a freshman and hopes to graduate next fall. She will then be traveling to Europe in a canoe to study belly dancing with Dame Andrew. She would like to thank herself for being so fabulous and her pet, Charles, a double chimera she rescued from a fate worse than death. She would also like to thank her ghost writer Conchita Macbeth.

Candice Liapis (Sprite 2) is a junior at NEIU, majoring in Communication and minoring in Theatre. This is the first time she has ever been on stage and she is very excited. She was also the assistant stage manager for Buried Child last semester. She would like to thank Ellen O’Keefe for giving her a shot! And give a peace sign to all my friends! You too mom!!

Alexis S. Ginay (Belisa's Lover) is an accomplished artist who likes to work in pastels (although jeans and a white t-shirt will suffice). This is Mr. Ginay’s second appearance in a mainstage production at NEIU having made his first mainstage appearance in Life is a Dream, after his home planet exploded and his spacecraft mysteriously landed in the college parking lot! He would like to thank the director and cast for teaching him the earthly ways!

Juan Nezahualcoytl Montaño (Belisa's Lover) is a freshman at NEIU. His long overdue return on stage is shadowed by a very long absence. Having played a minor part as Putnam in The Crucible and the lead in Romeo and Juliet, he believes it is time to return to the spotlight. An aspiring poet and actor, his love for theatre is ever growing. Shakespeare, Neruda, Lorca, Poe, Piñero, Baudelaire, Luis J. Rodriguez and Valdez are among the influences in Juan’s dreams and aspirations. He would like to thank all his friends and family for their support, friendship and love. Being part of a great, talented, and good looking cast is a privilege he is grateful for.

Jesse Menendez (Belisa's Lover) is a student of the game. He has been an actor for the past 3 weeks and has appeared in the one man show the Three Men and a Baby. Jesse was also best boy on the set of Muppets Take Manhattan. He hopes to one day star as Balki Bartokomous in the stage version of the popular 90s sitcom Perfect Strangers. Among Jesse’s many accomplishments are learning to crawl and eventually walking at the tender age of 11. Jesse would like to thank Ellen O’Keefe and the cast for telling him that acid washed jeans are a thing of the past and sporks are not to be used at fine dining events.

Bryan Edward Avis (Belisa's Lover) will be finally graduating this semester and he couldn’t be more thrilled. He was last seen in We Won’t Pay, We Won’t Pay and The Case of the Crushed Petunias. He also directed a studio series last year, Water and Wine. In addition to acting and directing, he is also a runway/print model. After graduation, Mr. Avis will take a much needed vacation touring the South Pacific in May. He wants to thank all positive cast and crew members (except Candi who kept sticking out her tongue and making him laugh, just kidding, love ya babe!) as well as send a special thank-you to Anna Antaramian, Melanie, Freddy, Tom & his grandmother Victoria for all positive and constructive criticism (no matter how much he hated it) throughout the years and lastly, my dogs, Loo-e, Mina and Moonflower, i love you. “I know God exists because I can see Him in you!”

Eric Lopez (Belisa's Lover, Guitarist) has been spelling words since 1987. After receiving his first pictionary at the tender age of 4, he’s been enamored with the art of spelling ever since. As a Junior Achiever he joined the cut-throat spelling bee circuit at his elementary school. With his extensive vocabulary in hand, and the thirst of correct spelling in his soul, Eric can often be found at junior high spelling bee tournaments annihilating his competition, marring their home videos and… their dreams. If you walk down the halls of NEIU, you can hear Eric explaining the difference between their, there, and they’re to his grammatically challenged peers. Eric challenges anyone to ask him to spell mnemonic, pterodactyl, and xylophone. His spelling bee background has helped him to perfectly articulate his lines during NEIU theatre productions. Eric would like to thank Sesame Street, Webster’s Dictionary, the makers of the kids toy “Spell and Check,” goawaykids, needle$$, his family, and all of the people he’s outspelled over the years.

Linnea Carrera (Vocalist) is in her third year of higher education and having finally decided on Communications as her major, she may actually graduate in under seven years, although that is not likely. This is her second show here at NEIU; she played Mrs. Drudge in The Real Inspector Hound in the fall. Linnea is very excited to be a part of this production and a member of this fantabulous cast. She most particularly wants to thank Lorena and her mom for saying words at her over the phone till she got them right and also wants to thank her friends and family for being just so darn cool.

Production Crew
Producer ..............Rodney Higginbotham
Director ...............................Ellen O’Keefe
Set Designer ....................John Rodriguez
Costume Designer ........Elizabeth Shaffer
Lighting Designer ..........Robert G. Smith
Choreographer .......................Mary Foley
Sound Designer ...............Leroyd Manuel
Stage Manager ...............Jennifer Noncek
Box Office Manager .................Eric Steier
Light Board Operator .........Elias Morales
Sound Board Operator ....Leroyd Manuel
Costume Mistress ..............Yvette A. Trejo
Playbill Designer ..............David Ropinski

Ellen O’Keefe (Director). The last time Ellen O’Keefe ventured out at the Stage Center Theatre, she was playing the role of Bananas in House of Blue Leaves. Now she is very pleased to make her directoral return with such a talented cast and crew. She has directed over fourteen productions, most recently, an original adaptation of Aimee Bender’s The Girl in the Flammable Skirt for Paleo Productions. She is a founding member  of Michael Montenegro’s mask and puppet ensemble, LAMP, which performed their latest work, The Sublime Beauty of Hands at this year’s Winterroot Festival. Some of her favorite directing projects include: an original adaptation of School for Scandel, The Adding Machine, Biederman and the Firebugs, Archangels Don’t Play Pinball and a staged reading of her play, Ubu Planet, with The Woman’s Theatre Alliance. She is a member of the NEIU faculty and when not walking the picket line, teaching, or performing, she likes to relax with her remarkable family, Richard, Eve and Adrian, who make all things possible.

John Rodriguez (Scenic Design) joined the theatre faculty at Northeastern last year and has been teaching courses in technical theatre as well as working as a designer on the mainstage shows. Last year he designed the lighting for Little Murders, Lend Me a Tenor, The Game of Love and Chance, and the set and lighting for Ghosts. This past summer John designed the set and lighting for the Stockyard Theatre’s production of Duet for One, directed by Lynn Ann Bernatowicz and produced at the Victory Garden’s Theatre.

Elizabeth Powell Shaffer (Costumer) received her Masters Degree in Design from Penn. State University in 2002, after graduating from Washington University in St. Louis. She has been designing and draping in the Chicago area for several years. Her credits include: Bailiwick Arts Center, L’Opera Piccola, Opera Theatre Highland Park, Chicago Jewish Theatre, Reverie Theatre, and Lifeline Theatre (where she is an Artistic Ensemble member). She eagerly awaits a call from the Lyric. She is also the Assistant Designer / Head Draper for the annual Baroque Handel Opera Festival in Gottingen, Germany.

Robert G. Smith (Lighting Designer) is the resident designer in Northeastern’s Department of Communication, Media and Theatre where he has been designing scenery and lighting since 1984. In Chicago professional theater he is an ensemble member at Famous Door Theatre and Stage Left Theatre, is Vice President of the Board of Directors of A Red Orchid Theatre and is a founding member of Plasticene. He has also designed for Steppenwolf, Northlight, The Next Theatre, The Organic Theater, Apple Tree Theatre, The Second City, The Apollo Remy-Bumppo and dozens of other Off Loop theaters. Elsewhere he has designed productions in New York (Off Broadway), London (West End), Edinburgh, Dublin, Los Angeles, Jerusalem and Singapore. His design for the television series The Straight Dope was seen across the nation on the A&E cable network. He has been nominated nine times and has received seven Joseph Jefferson Citations as well as three After Dark Awards and an Emmy nomination.

Mary Foley (choreographer) began jazz dance training at the age of four and has found ways to pursue the many facets of dance as a performer, teacher and choreographer ever since. For the past five years, she has been devoted to teaching and performing the art of partner dancing, especially the Argentine Tango and Swing. She currently co-runs Mariposa, a tango salon here in Chicago, and has studied with master teachers from San Francisco, New York, Argentina and Brazil. She continues to study different forms of solo dancing,most recently Flamenco, with several institutions including NEIU. She would especially like to thank Dame Libby Komaiko for her influence on the work done for this production.

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