Brown University's Octavia Chavez-Richmond Talks of Role in Political Drama at Trinity
Octavia Chavez-Richmond is starring in "Like Sheep to Water, or Fuente Ovejuna," Trinity Repertory Company's final production of the 2016-2017 season. Chavez-Richmond is enrolled in the Brown/Trinity Rep. master of fine arts program.
The Golden Age drama, written by Lope De Vega and published in 1619, has been translated and adapted by Curt Columbus, Trinity's artistic director.
The story, based on actual events, is set in 15th-century Spain, where a menacing commander terrorizes a small town's citizens. Pushed to their limit, the people of Fuente Ovejuna rise up against their oppressor in a fierce act of unity and bravery.
Chavez-Richmond plays Laurencia, a "spirited, very independent woman who doesn't need men," the actress told EDGE.
"She's kind of a Joan of Arc character you don't see very often," Chavez-Richmond noted.
Chavez-Richmond said it has been a "huge learning experience" working with Trinity Rep. resident acting company members Stephen Berenson, Angela Brazil, Timothy Crowe, Janice Duclos, Fred Sullivan, Jr., Rachael Warren, and Joe Wilson, Jr.
The Albuquerque, New Mexico native has learned a lot about acting from Brown's theater program.
"I was really looking for a place to become a full artist," Chavez-Richmond explained. "They make us take directing and playwriting and acting so we become well-rounded."
Chavez-Richmond has appeared in several productions, including "The Beauty Queen of Leenane," "The Winter's Tale," "The Taming of the Shrew," and "The Children's Hour."
"The thing I love most about making theater is you put your all into something and you kind of build this amazing creation," Chavez-Richmond said. "I think it's so important, especially as a woman of color, to give voices to people who doesn't necessarily have them. I remember watching Rita Moreno do 'West Side Story' and being really inspired by that."
Chavez-Richmond has a lot of affection for the state she now considers home and looks forward to a long career.
"I just really like Rhode Island," Chavez-Richmond said. "It's a cool place to live and there's a lot of art here, so I figured if I'm going to school to be an artist, I should probably be in a place where there's a lot of art."
"Like Sheep to Water, or Fuente Ovejuna" runs May 11 through June 11. Tickets are on sale now by phone at (401) 351-4242, online at www.trinityrep.com, or in person at the theater's box office at 201 Washington Street, Providence.