UMSL to present play based on prize-winning Chilean novel

Cast members for the Oct. 14-22 production of the “The House of the Spirits” include (front row, from left): Sophie Powell, Sydney Daniels, Samantha Smith, Destiny Hanlin and Ashley Bauman and (back row, from left) Mike Pierce, Sean Green and Ben Watts.

The Department of Theater, Dance and Media Studies in the College of Fine Arts and Communication will present the musical drama “The House of the Spirits” in eight performances over nine days from Oct. 14 to Oct. 22 at the Blanche M. Touhill Performing Arts Center at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

“The House of the Spirits” paints a family portrait over four generations of political, social and familial upheaval. This epic play, inspired by Isabel Allende’s prize-winning (Chile’s National Literature Prize) novel, evokes the pride, passion and triumph of characters living in turbulent times.

Playwright Caridad Svich’s English-language adaptation will receive its first major St. Louis production at UMSL. The play was originally commissioned by Repertorio Espanol in New York City (where it premiered) and has subsequently been produced at the Denver Center Theatre Company, Mixed Blood Theater Company in Minneapolis and Main Street Theater in Houston.

Tlaloc Rivas, assistant professor of theater at UMSL, will direct the play. He said this production marks its first university production in the country.

“The story is really amazing,” he said. “It features these incredible characters. Our department really felt like we wanted to show we could do it.”

Students involved in the production include cast members Ashley Bauman, Sydney Daniels, Sean Green, Destiny Hanlin, Rachel Ligon, Michael Pierce, Sophie Powell, Juan Shivers, Samantha Smith and Ben Watts.

Svich, the playwright, will attend the 3 p.m. Oct. 16 performance and participate in a panel discussion with UMSL faculty after the show.

The entire production schedule is as follows:

Oct. 14, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 15, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 16, 3 p.m.
Oct. 18, 9 a.m. (special student matinee)
Oct. 19, 7:30 p.m. (all seats $3)
Oct. 20, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 21, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 22, 7:30 p.m.

All performances are in the E. Desmond and Mary Ann Lee Theater. Tickets are $10 for general admission and $5 for students with UMSL ID. They are available online at or call 314-516-4949.

For more information, call Tlaloc Rivas at 314-516-4850 or email


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