The House of Bernarda Alba – AACTFest 2019

by Federico Garcia Lorca
Translated by Erico Ortiz

The House of Bernarda Alba is Federico Garcia Lorca’s last play, written in 1936, the year he was killed at the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War. This play, along with Blood Wedding and Yerma, form a trilogy expressing what Lorca saw as the tragic life of Spanish women.

Bernada Alba art

The Village Playhouse is taking this classic on the road as a competition piece for AACTFest 2019.

AACTFest is a biennial community theater competition.  It starts at the state level (WACTFest) in February of odd numbered years, then on to the Regional Festival in April and the National Festival in June.

The state festival is this year will be held in Verona, Wisconsin, January 17th – 20th, 2019.   The Village Playhouse will be holding three performances of The House of Bernarda Alba at Inspiration Studios in preparation for the state festival and to help offset the cost of taking this production to competition.

Benefit Performances (at Inspiration Studios)

January 4 & 5, 2019- 7:30 PM
January 6, 2019- 2:00 PM

Competition Performance (at Veronica Area Community Theater, Verona Wisconsin)

January 19th, 2019

Cast and Crew:

Bernarda Alba:  Anne Gorski
La Poncia:  Mary Lynn Ferwerda
Angustias:  Donna McMaster
Magdalena:  Jackie Benka
Amelia:  Miriam Kopek
Martirio:  Caroline Miller-Bayer
Adela:  Bividiana Murguia
Maria Josefa:  Judy Pirelli-Wambach
Servant:  Sandra Hollander

Producer:  Tom Zuehlke
Lights/Sound:  Casey Paszkiewicz
Stage Manager:  Jennifer Conway
Director:  Erico Ortiz

Upon her second husband’s death, domineering matriarch Bernarda Alba imposes an eight-year mourning period on her household in accordance with her family tradition. Bernarda has five daughters, aged 20 to 39, whom she has controlled inexorably and prohibited from any form of romantic relationship. The mourning period further isolates them and tension mounts within the household.

Bernarda’s eldest daughter, Angustias, has inherited a large sum of money from her father, Bernarda’s first husband, but Bernarda’s second husband has left only small sums to his four daughters. Angustias’ wealth attracts a young, attractive suitor from the village, Pepe el Romano. Her sisters are jealous, believing that it’s unfair that plain, sickly Angustias should receive both the majority of the inheritance and the freedom to marry and escape their suffocating home environment.

Youngest sister Adela, stricken with sudden spirit and jubilation after her father’s funeral, defies her mother’s orders, and later realizes all of her sisters are as interested in Pepe as she is. Her brief taste of youthful joy shatters when she discovers that Angustias will be marrying Pepe.  La Poncia, Bernarda’s maid, advises Adela to bide her time. Distressed, Adela takes matters into her own hands. Sibling rivalry consumes the five daughters as they struggle with feelings of despair and doom, ultimately leading to the play’s tragic conclusion.

Repression, sexual tension, gender roles, social class, gossip, death, and religion are prominent themes throughout Lorca’s play.