The House of Bernarda Alba

By Jesús Aguado

The drama of the five mournful women in love with Pepe “el Romano” was presented by the theater group from the Preparatoria Ignacio Allende. The play, written by Federico García Lorca in 1936 and still a classic, was presented by students between 16 and 20 years old as part of a project to offer more theater in Spanish for audiences of all ages.

During the presentation on Thursday, November 26, the attendees could feel the energy and courage of Bernarda controlling her five daughters (Angustias, Amelia, Magdalena, Martirio, and Adela), two maids, and her crazy mother. The audience felt tenderness for María Josefa as well as compassion for Angustias, who is ugly but wealthy; that is the reason Pepe el Romano feels attracted to her.

The audience paid attention all the time and did not miss a single moment. One of the most memorable moments was when Bernarda puts Angustias’ head in a bucket of water for using makeup the day of her stepfather’s funeral. The adrenalin kept increasing when Bernarda punished Martirio for stealing the picture of Pepe el Romano that Angustias had under her bed. Catharsis almost came when Adela finally decided to face her dominant mother and she breaks her stick. In the end, the audience gave ovations to every actor. The play will be presented again in December at Teatro Santa Ana.

The drama tells what happens inside the house of Bernarda Alba, who after the death of her second husband, prohibits her five daughters any contact with people from the outside. However, Pepe “el Romano,” a 25-year-old man arrives, attracted by Angustias’ money and will marry her soon. At the same time Adela is his lover, and Martirio is secretly in love with him. And if that is not enough, the family has to deal with the crazy María Josefa, Bernarda’s mother.

 

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