Curtain Call: 'Death and the Maiden' - The Buffalo News

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Curtain Call: 'Death and the Maiden'

Some extra thoughts and notes on “Death and the Maiden,” now on stage in the Manny Fried Playhouse through June 13. Read the original Gusto review here.

Ariel Dorfman, playwright, essayist, poet, novelist and academic – a longtime professor at Duke University – – is a renowned human rights activist. He speaks around the globe, including appearances at Buffalo’s Hallwalls and a “Babel” date at Babeville in 2007. His various writings, poems and commentaries, such as “Speak Truth to Power: Voices from Beyond the Dark,” have been translated into 40 languages and published in more than 100 countries.

Kudos to Subversive’s informative program notes, crammed with notes about Dorfman, Schubert, Pinochet and “Death and The Maiden,” both play and music. Now in its 11th season, the company’s founder and artistic director, Kurt Schneiderman, rarely misses a teaching moment.

Staggering Statistics Department: During Pinochet’s 17-year Chilean rule, more than 3,200 people were reported killed, 28,000 more were tortured – many with stories much the same as the character of Paulina – and thousands simply “disappeared.” Pinochet was never tried for any crimes, in fact, post-dictatorship, still maintained power and military might. Ariel Dorfman, returning to Chile, was dismayed to see torture victims and tormentors living side-by-side. The idea for “Death and The Maiden” was born.

The Raices mission: “Dedicated to develop, nourish and produce modern and original plays and musicals written by Latino playwrights and dealing with the Latino experience.” The company is in residence at Road Less Traveled Productions.

Composer Franz Schubert (1797 -1828) came to the attention of the famed classical composer, Antonio Salieri, in 1804 at the age of 7. The bleak “Death and The Maiden” was once described as “a testimony to both the terror and the comfort of death.”

– Ted Hadley

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