offoffoff theater



Site links
  • Contact us

    Get our newsletter:
    Search the site:

    Theater section
  • Theater main page
  • Theater archive
  • Theater links

    Current theater

  • Fall Briefs
  • Nick


    Complete archive, 1999-present

    2008-2009 reviews:
  • Anaïs Nin Goes To Hell
  • beast: a parable
  • Blanche Survives Katrina in a FEMA Trailer Named Desire
  • Blasted
  • Buffalo Gal
  • China: The Whole Enchilada
  • The Corn Maiden
  • Crawl, Fade to White
  • Doruntine
  • Extraordinary Rendition
  • The First Breeze of Summer
  • Fringe Festival 2008
  • Fringe Festival favorites
  • The Glass Cage
  • Hair
  • Hidden Fees* (A Play About Money)
  • Jailbait
  • King of Shadows
  • The Longest Running Joke of the Twentieth Century
  • Lucasville: The Untold Story of a Prison Uprising
  • Macbeth
  • The Master Builder
  • Missa Solemnis, or The Play About Henry
  • Mourn the Living Hector
  • A Nasty Story
  • Nowadays
  • the october crisis (to laura)
  • Oresteia
  • Other Bodies
  • Prayer
  • Psalms of a Questionable Nature
  • Raised by Lesbians
  • Reasonable Doubt
  • Sleepwalk With Me
  • Small Craft Warnings
  • Something Weird . . . in the Red Room
  • Soul Samurai
  • The Sound of One Hanna Clapping
  • Southern Promises
  • The Third from the Left
  • Twelfth Night
  • Voices from Guantánamo
  • The Wendigo
  • Zombie


    To list your event here, please send information by e-mail (preferred) to or by mail to, P.O. Box 3340, Hoboken, N.J. 07030.

    Back to listings page

    Dona Rosita the Spinster

    Read the Offoffoff review

    It is said that the seed for Do — a Rosita was planted long before the play's eventual premiere in 1935. In 1924, Lorca's friend Moreno Villa told him about the "rosa mutabile," a rose that changed color from red to white. Villa had found it in a 17th-century rose book, and as he told the story, Lorca created the narrative that would become Do — a Rosita. While writing the piece over the next eleven years, Lorca studied early 20th-century almanacs, magazines, books, and other literature that would help anchor its historical and horticultural veracity. He kept a list of 31 flowers for reference, 14 of which were used in the play along with five that he invented. He based many of the characters on people from his life. The Housekeeper, for instance, was based on Dolores, the maid from his childhood. Don Mart'n, the schoolteacher, was based on one of his grade school teachers, Don Mart'n Sheroff y Av', a failed, red-haired poet with frayed clothing. The play's primary subject, spinsterhood, was anything but foreign to Lorca. His passion for the Spanish spinster is evidenced in other works, as well as earlier poetry, such as "Elegy" (written in 1918). "It has always grieved me to see that in Spain, in order for one girl to get married, twenty virgins must be sacrificed," he said, revealing his deep frustration and empathy toward these women. Lorca described Do — a Rosita as a "profound drama of the Andalusian spinster, and of the Spanish spinster in general." Where Do — a Rosita does not employ the larger-than-life stylistic tragedy of his other works like Yerma and Bodas de sangre (Blood Wedding), it finds profound sadness in its subtlety. "I wanted to create a simple, friendly comedy," said Lorca, "but that's not what emerged. What emerged is a poem that seems to me to have more tears than my two previous productions." Do — a Rosita is also a wonderful account of the city of Granada, where Lorca had grown up. The play is full of references to local streets, monuments, and people. However, while Lorca shows a fondness for the city, one also sees enough of the playwright's frustration in Do — a Rosita to refrain from considering it an "ode" or "love story" to Granada. Though Lorca felt Granada was beautiful, he also saw it as closed-remote and provincial, cut off from the rest of the world. Still, the play made Lorca proud enough to say to one journalist that his comments should be sent to the mayor of Granada, so that he (Lorca) could say, "I'm more the mayor of Granada than you are." On December 12, 1935, Do — a Rosita premiered in Barcelona to a packed house. It was advertised as a "poem for families," and red and white lights had been hung outside the theatre to accentuate the play's symbolic colors. At the end of the second act, Lorca and the cast were met with a standing ovation, and had to take eight curtain calls before the play could continue. The critics (many of whom had flown in from Madrid) were overwhelmingly positive, and particularly praised the uniqueness and intensity of Lorca's script. One critic, Antonio Espina, called it one of the "greatest works of both the modern Spanish theater and theaters beyond Spain."

    Dates:  Dec. 19, 2003 - April 4, 2004
    Schedule:  Varied schedule
    Venue:  Jean Cocteau Repertory, 330 Bowery at Bond St.
    Company:  Jean Cocteau Repertory
    Tickets/info:  (212) 677-0060

    Note: Information is displayed as supplied by the producers or publicists and is not written by

    Back to listings page