University of the Arts Presents Classic Drama 'House of Bernarda Alba'

Brind School students to perform the masterpiece April 20-22 and 26-28 at the Arts Bank Theater

April 17, 2012

Long considered a masterpiece of 20th century dramatic literature, Federico Garcia Lorca's powerful drama "The House of Bernarda Alba" will be performed by students in the Ira Brind School of Theater Arts for two weekends at the Arts Bank Theater, April 20 – 22 and 26 – 28.

Living together in the house of Bernarda Alba are her five unmarried daughters, trapped in an atmosphere of simmering sexual desire, jealousy and fear. When one of them begins a clandestine affair with her sister's suitor, the consequences are devastating. Lorca's masterpiece of love, oppression and loathing was completed just months before he was murdered by Franco's supporters in 1936. The UArts production features a translation by the noted English playwright David Hare.

"Audiences are certain to be transported by the gripping atmosphere of Lorca’s play," observes Charles Gilbert, director of the Brind School. "This work was created by a playwright who lived during a highly repressive political regime, and a brutal repressiveness pervades his work. Bernarda’s daughters yearn for freedom, but those yearnings come to a tragic conclusion, just like the playwright’s life."

"The House of Bernarda Alba" runs April 20 – 28, with a press opening on Friday, April 20 at 8 p.m. Tickets – priced at $20, $10 for students and seniors, and free to the UArts community – are available online at or by calling 215-717-6450. Seating is general admission and is on a first-come, first-served basis. All performances will take place at the Arts Bank Theater (601 South Broad Street) in Philadelphia.

Friday, April 20 at 8 p.m.
Saturday, April 21 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Sunday, April 22 at 2 p.m.
Thursday, April 26 at 8 p.m.
Friday, April 27 at 8 p.m.
Saturday, April 28 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.

About the Cast and Production Team
Helming the UArts production of "Bernarda Alba" is director Rosey Hay, adjunct associate professor in the Ira Brind School of Theater Arts. Hay is also the artistic director of REV Theatre Company and an acclaimed freelance director whose recent work in Philadelphia includes "Night Mother" and "Terrorism" at New City Stage, and "Carthaginians" in the 2011 Philadelphia Fringe Festival. Trained at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts in the U.K., Rosey teaches Junior and Senior Acting Studio and Contemporary Scene Study for the Brind School.

The designs for "Bernarda Alba," which evoke the hot and oppressive landscape of Lorca's Andalusia, are the creation students and alumni in the Brind School's program in Theater Design and Technology. Scenic designer Michael Leon BFA ’11 (Theater Design and Technology), currently a professional apprentice at the Walnut Street Theater, was recently admitted to the prestigious MFA program in Scenic Design at New York University. Lighting designer Richard Zettlemoyer ’12 (Theater Design and Technology ) and costume designer Rita Roley ’12 (Theater Design and Technology) are both seniors in the Design/Tech program, while stage manager Anne Ketcham ’12 (Directing, Playwriting and Production) is a senior in the Brind School’s Directiing, Playwriting and Production program.

Appearing as Bernarda Alba, the domineering mother named in the play’s title, is Adriana Villalopez-Real '12 (Directing, Playwriting and Production). Her oldest daughter, Angustias, is played by Sarah Spangenberg ’12 (Musical Theater), and the cast also includes her four sisters Martirio (Curtisha Starks ’13 [Acting]), Adele (Arielle Street ’13 [Acting]), Magdalena (Tess Kunik ’13 [Acting]) and Amelia (Alina John ’14 [Musical Theater]). Senior Yazemin Rodriguez ’12 (Acting) plays the part of Poncia, the sharp-tongued servant who has the courage to stand up to Bernarda. The talented ensemble is made up exclusively of women, which serves to heighten the atmosphere of jealousy and sexual repression in the play.

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