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The touching, tragic love story “Ramona” opens at ASU

April 08, 2002

WHAT: The Department of Theatre in the Herberger College of Fine Arts at ASU presents “Ramona,” a play written by nationally renowned playwright and ASU’s own playwright-in-residence Guillermo Reyes. ASU professor of theatre and professional actor and director David Vining directs the production.

Reyes has adapted one of the nation’s most enduring historical romance novels for the stage. Written by Helen Hunt Jackson in 1884, it’s a touching, tragic love story that denounces American Indian policy as well as the various taboos of race and class.

Ramona, an orphan, falls for a man outside her race. Persecuted and betrayed by individuals and the government, Ramona and Alessandro struggle and flee. The tragedy of their lives mirrors the tragedy of their people, who endure brutal poverty and the loss of their land.

WHEN: April 19-20, 24-27, 7:30 p.m.; April 21 and April 28, 2 p.m.
WHERE: Paul V. Galvin Playhouse, 51 E. 10th St. on the ASU campus in Tempe.
TICKETS: $14 adults, $12 seniors, faculty and staff; $5 students.

A Little More…
The novel “Ramona” was an issue-oriented book, but it was written in an accessible popular art form, the love story. The novel became a fixture of both theatrical and, later, film versions.

An outdoor version of the novel has been performed as the Ramona Pageant in Hemet, Calif., in which local townsfolk get together every spring to enact the novel with about 100 actors, horses, carriages and lavish costumes. The entire town participates. This is a version written by Garnet Holme and first produced in 1923.

Reyes’ adaptation uses eight actors and puts a different spin on the story.

Reyes says his focus is on the love story in relationship to the issues of the times, specifically the appropriation of the land. “Who owns the land and who commands it, and in return, who gets to love Ramona?” he asks. “Ramona as the love object is a pawn of the various social forces and ultimately, their love is decimated by these pressures.” 

Media Contact:
Megan Krause