About the House of Bernarda Alba
South rural Spain, the middle of summer underneath the oppressive Spanish sun, Bernarda Alba strives to retain the cultural status of her family following the death of her husband. The mid 1930s, it was a desperate and tumultuous time for humanity worldwide. For
the people of Spain, abject poverty and the threat of a fascist revolt resides in their hearts and minds. This is the setting of Federico Garcia Lorca’s play, The House of Bernarda Alba, or a drama of women in the villages of Spain. Or at least these were the circumstances at the time Lorca was writing his last play. 10 days after the play was finished, Francisco Franco and his fascist regime, sponsored by Hitler, successfully over threw the Spanish Republic which was established a mere 5 years prior. Within two months Lorca was captured and assassinated, a plane ticket to Mexico in his pocket. It may go without saying, he never saw his last play performed, and neither did anyone in Spain for the matter because his entire cannon of work, his poetry included, was banned until the death of Franco in 1975.
While Lorca was writing Bernarda Alba he told a friend with great enthusiasm, “there’s not a drop of poetry in it!” He wanted to write something real, to tell a truth. He wanted us to look at Bernarda Alba the way we would look at a photo album and see the way life was for women in the villages of Spain. He does so with fully imagined and complex characters, language steeped in imagery and symbolism which illustrates in our imagination another time and place plucked out of Granada and placed here at The San Bernardino Garcia Center for the Arts.