Jealousy runs rampant in “The House of Bernarda Alba”
Through tragedy, we grieve. For some, it may take months and for others it seems to always be with them. For Bernarda Alba, main character in Frederico Garcia Lorca's "The House of Bernarda Alba," she takes the grief process into her own hands. Forcing her daughters to grieve the loss of her second husband for eight years, the proud and domineering Bernarda keeps up appearances, regardless of how her daughters feel or how isolated they become.
Through tragedy, we grieve. For some, it may take months and for others it seems to always be with them. For Bernarda Alba, main character in Frederico Garcia Lorca’s “The House of Bernarda Alba,” she takes the grief process into her own hands. Forcing her daughters to grieve the loss of her second husband for eight years, the proud and domineering Bernarda keeps up appearances, regardless of how her daughters feel or how isolated they become.
The University of West Florida Center for Fine and Performing Arts (CFPA) and the Department of Theatre will present “The House of Bernarda Alba” by Frederico Garcia Lorca Feb. 21, 22, 23, 28, 29 and March 1 at 8 p.m. and Feb. 24 and March 2 at 2:30 p.m. in the Studio Theatre at the CFPA, Building 82. Tickets cost $16 per person for adults, $12 per person for senior citizens, active military and UWF faculty and staff and $10 per person for non-UWF students. UWF students are admitted free with their Nautilus cards.
“The play is about a woman who is a tyrant,” said Celeste Evans, director of “The House of Bernarda Alba.” “She is dead-set to control her daughters. It’s almost like a prison – sexual repression, spiritual repression and in turn she represses herself.”
Written by Lorca in 1936 and set in 1903, “The House of Bernarda Alba” tells the story of matriarch Bernarda Alba and her five daughters after the death of her husband. Appearances are everything to Alba and her life is built around tradition and honor. When she imposes an eight-year mourning period, her daughter’s suppressed passions and desires push against her command, threatening the very world she has created. Envy between the daughters become apparent when the eldest daughter is allowed to become engaged to an unprincipled young man, possibly for the wrong reasons.
“All women can relate to this play in some aspect,” said Evans. “The family dynamic in this play is what I really enjoy. How do they react to tragedy? Do they lose their minds or do they suffer in silence? It’s intriguing to see how all of the characters react.”
Lorca, a Spanish poet and dramatist, was killed in 1936, at the age of 38, by Nationalist partisans at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War. He was an avid member of the Spanish avant-garde movement at the time and was friends with Salvador Dali and Luis Bunuel.
“If there is any sort of greater meaning to the play, it’s the conflict between the individual’s will and the communal will,” said Allen Josephs, professor of English and Lorca scholar, who serves as dramaturge for the production. “Bernarda represents an exaggeration of the communal will. This is a transcendental theme that was common in Lorca’s work. He was a champion of women’s rights in the early 20s and 30s.”
“The House of Bernarda Alba” is a production of the UWF Tapestry Theatre series. Tapestry Theatre is a multicultural initiative created by Evans to expose students and the Pensacola community to thought-provoking theatre from various cultures.
In addition to Josephs, Evans is joined on the production team by UWF student Will O’Donnell as scenic designer, Glenn Avery Breed, assistant professor of Theatre, as costume designer, Jarod Wilson, guest artist, as lighting designer and Charles Houghton, chair of the Department of Theatre, as scenic designer.
For more information or to purchase tickets, call the CFPA box office at (850) 857-6285 or visit uwf.edu/cfpa.
By Megan Clark, University Marketing Communications