Bonfire at Dawn
An historical tableau in four acts, based on the life and passion of Fray Bartolome de Las Casas and following the psychological drama of the great "Apostle of the Indians" from his arrogant youth to his old age and death. As Las Casas wrestles with his desire for power and with temptations of the flesh, including homosexuality, the action flows back and forth between Spain and America. A simple unit set is enhanced by use of music and lighting. 11 men, 4 women First directed in Mexico City by Sergio Olhovich, 1991; made into movie, also in Mexico, in 1993. American premiere, in Spanish original (with simultaneous reading of English translation) at GALA Hispanic Theatre in Washington DC, 1992, under direction of Hugo Medrano, Original ESTRENO Plays edition was also published in 1992.
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Admiral Columbus ANTONIO and PEDRO Antonio de Montesinos Arawak BARTOLOME Entering BARTOLOME's Bishop Fonseca Bonfire at Dawn brothers Caonao Christian convent Crown deck Dominican ducats EMPEROR ESTRENO Plays Excellency exit Extremadura Father Bartolome feel Ferdinand the Catholic flute FONSECA and CONCHILLOS forgive Fray Antonio Montesinos Fray Bartolome Fray Pedro FRAY RODRIGO GALA Hispanic Theatre give going gold GOVERNOR To BARTOLOME hand happy hear hoguera al amanecer Hugo Medrano Indians Indies Isabel ISABEL-DAUGHTER ISABEL-MOTHER Jaime Salom Jorge Negrete King Ferdinand kneels land Laughing leave lower stage Majesty MARIA To BARTOLOME matter Monsignor Mother natives nephew Pace University peace PEDRO DE CORDOBA PEDRO LAS CASAS PEDRO RENTERIA PETRILLA Phyllis Zatlin pray priest Professor of Theatre renounce rich royal SECOND CHANCELLOR Sefior Bartolome SENOR Seville ship slaves Spain Spaniards Spanish speak tell Uncle Gabriel upper stage upstage voice wait What's World