Drama Department Launches 2003-2004 Season with the Compelling
“The House of Bernarda Alba”
September 25, 2003 --
“The House of Bernarda Alb”a kicks off the U.Va
Drama Department’s 2003-2004 season with flavorings of a
resonant—cultural dilemma. In this translation of Federico
Garcia Lorca’s touching drama, audiences are brought back
to turn-of-the-century Spain to realize the emotional experience
of its socially repressed women. Running Oct. 2-4 and 7-10 in the
Culbreth Theatre at 8 p.m., this production probes historic societal
attitudes that the modern American theatergoer must continue to
in 1936, just months before Lorca’s death, “The
House of Bernarda Alba” is the renowned playwright’s
final work. This powerful drama depicts a recently widowed woman,
Bernarda, who confines her daughters to their rural Spanish home
for an oppressive eight-year mourning period. By honoring the
religious tradition, the tyrannical Bernarda—portrayed
by M.F.A. candidate in acting Maura Malloy-- incites dangerous
tensions within her family, finally building to a dramatic climax.
The all-female cast, which includes Howell Draper, Erin Stewart,
Moira Fogarty, Anne Holt, Nadia Sepsenwol, and Megan Bengur,
explores the emotional dynamics of a family wrenched apart by
gripping play, which was not produced until 1945, has been hailed
a tour de force of the modern theatre.
Lorca himself has
become the most translated Spanish writer in history, whose
works are distinguished by their deep cultural consciousness
impulse. “The House of Bernarda Alba”, his final
play, closely examines the repercussions of Bernarda’s
domineering control of her five daughters, who struggle to
balance local customs
with their desire for personal freedom. When Adela, the youngest,
falls in love with her oldest sister’s fiancée,
the entire household must defend and challenge their notions
independence. Ultimately, these concerns thrust the Alba women
into a startling moral—and mortal—crisis, which
poses to cause irreparable harm.
Murphy Mason, an M.F.A. candidate in directing, heads this
moving production. Last year she directed “Something
a new play by Chicago playwright Barrie Cole, and Tennessee
Night of the Iguana” in the Helms Theatre.
play explores the deterioration of humanity when a people are
oppressed,” Murphy said. “In Alba,” Lorca
pits desire against codes of conduct, and youth against
tradition. He questions society’s acceptance of the mores
by which we live, and dares us to evaluate our own culpability.”
for “The House of Bernarda Alba” are $12 for
adults, $10 for seniors and $7 for students; full-time
U.Va students can use their ART$ Dollars to purchase tickets.
are also available. For more information, call the Drama
Department Box Office at (434) 924-3376. The box office is open
from 1 p.m.
to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.
James Scales, (434) 982-5279