Isabel Allende's trippy, political, multigenerational 1982 novel The House of the Spirits is a good match for the highly visual, dreamlike, multimedia aesthetic of ASU Theatre and Film professor Rachel Bowditch, who directs a stage adaptation of the book that runs through Sunday, April 15. The passionate strength of the Trueba family's women in the face of oppression both personal and institutional inspires a fascinating, perennially relevant tale.
The award-winning script by Caridad Svich, which includes original songs, crafts a freestanding new work from the lengthy storyline by employing the shorthands of vivid imagery and magic realism inherent in Allende's fiction. Though Svich has translated many works of Spanish-language literature, Spirits marked the playwright's first time writing a script in Spanish when it was commissioned by New York's Repertorio Español company. Svich also created the English version, which was a big hit last year in Denver.