Stage Door News
Toronto: Aluna Theatre and Modern Times Stage present The House of Bernarda Alba this April
Friday, March 11, 2022
Modern Times Stage Company and Aluna Theatre reunite to co-produce THE HOUSE OF BERNARDA ALBA by Federico Garcia Lorca and directed by Soheil Parsa. This is the first in-person production Soheil will direct for the company since the 2021 announcement of his departure, marking the end of his 31-year tenure as Artistic Director. THE HOUSE OF BERNARDA ALBA runs from April 6th to April 24th at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, opening on April 9th at 7:30 p.m.
This is the third time Aluna Theatre and Modern Times have collaborated to produce a show by Lorca – including their critically acclaimed and multi-award-winning benchmark production of Blood Wedding in 2015 (nominated for 8 Dora Awards and winning 6). The highly successful show was remounted again in 2017. The creative team from that collaboration are reuniting for this new production with Lighting and Set Design by Trevor Schwellnus, Costume Design by Angela Thomas, and Sound Design by Thomas Ryder Payne.
“My love for Lorca’s plays and poetry goes back to the mid-70s when I was a theatre student at Tehran University. The themes and universe of Lorca have always fascinated me.” Says Parsa. “His vast artistic imagination, his unique theatrical style that confronts naturalism, and his compelling female characters mark him as one of the most extraordinary playwrights of the 20th century. His insights into the human condition and human struggles have lost none of their power.”
In THE HOUSE OF BERNARDA ALBA, the iron-willed matriarch Bernarda Alba declares eight years of mourning for her household following her husband’s death. This domestic lockdown cuts her five daughters off from the outside world, which in turn fuels their desires for a life beyond their confines. Modernity and tradition clash, showing the destructive nature of decaying traditions. The show explores the forces of oppression, the conflict between individual freedom, desires, societal conventions, and conformity. Despite being written almost a century ago, this piece resonates with the patriarchal struggles society still faces to this day.
“Working with Soheil in Lorca's Blood Wedding changed me completely as an actor. Lorca's women are complex, deep, and enigmas at times. They are not afraid of emotions,” says actress Beatriz Pizano, who stars in the titular role. “Understanding Bernarda is my greatest challenge. Soheil and I always go beyond the stereotype to find the real person behind the mask. I want to honour the lives of these women who have been imprisoned by patriarchy.”
Pizano is joined on stage by; Lara Arabian, playing Angustias; Theresa Cutknife, playing Amelia; Liz Der, playing Martirio; Soo Garay, playing Maid and Prudencia; Nyiri Karakas, playing Adela; Monica Rodriguez Knox, playing Magdalena; and Rhoma Spencer, playing Poncia.
THE HOUSE OF BERNARDA ALBA is Federico Garcia Lorca’s last play and is often unofficially grouped with Blood Wedding and Yerma as his “rural trilogy.” Completed in 1936, only months later, in the early days of the Spanish Civil War, Franco’s Fascist militia would assassinate him for his homosexuality and socialist politics.
Performances for THE HOUSE OF BERNARDA ALBA run Tuesdays to Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2:00 p.m. from April 6th to April 24th at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre. The theatre will be running at 50 per cent capacity and will be requiring proof of vaccination. Tickets start at $20 and are available now online on the Buddies in Bad Times website.
About The House of Bernarda Alba:
A Modern Times and Aluna Theatre co-production.
April 6th to April 24th at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, 12 Alexander St., Toronto.
Opening April 9th at 7:30 p.m.
Tuesdays - Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., Sundays at 2:00 p.m.
For tickets visit buddiesinbadtimes.com.
Photo: Beatriz Pizano as Bernarda Alba© 2022 John Lauener.