by Sharif Abu-Hamdeh

Composed by Jon Peloso

April 17th- 27th, 2013

Mandell Weiss Forum Theater, UCSD

Casagemas  takes place in the mind of Pablo Picasso as he relives memories that lead to the suicide of his best friend, Carles Casagemas. We meet the 19-year-old Picasso during his “Blue Period” when he painted figures of homelessness, illness, blindness, death, loneliness, and hunger in a strict palette of blues. I was struck that, during this time, Picasso's self-portraits changed from a handsome and roguish boy, to a sullen large-eyed man. Sharif's play fills in the blanks between the portraits—how did the boy turn into the man? It is a unique fusion of theater and opera—pulling from both art-forms, but not strictly adhering to either. I kept figures that will become the subjects of Picasso's paintings continuously onstage, haunting the space until they step into the light to sing poetic ballads in spanish about the true nature of the world Picasso and Casagemas are discovering. By having four performers play all the supporting characters, I created a fluid world that shifted around the two friends as they traveled through cafes in Spain, streets in Paris, artist studios and opium bathhouses.


Set Design by Jenna Carino

Costume Design by Janet O'Neill

Lighting Design by Christ Lundahl

Sound Design by Melanie Chen

Music Direction by Kyle Adam Blair

Performed by Walker Hare, Michael Hammond, Hannah Tamminen, Vi Flaten, Russell Ewing, Brian Bose, Haya-Yasmine Nasser, Lizzy Shipton

Stage Manager Rachael Albert