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When we repress our deepest, most sensual desires, we are destroyed. When we live in fear of what others think or say, we descend into hypocrisy. Witness the Northeastern University Department of Theatre’s passionate staging of Federico García Lorca’s THE HOUSE OF BERNARDA ALBA, A Drama of Women in the Villages of Spain in a provocative new translation from faculty member Antonio Ocampo-Guzman.

A masterpiece of modern Spanish theatre, Lorca’s haunting, poetic tragedy depicts the thwarted desires of five sisters whose widowed mother locks them in the house for eight years of mourning. Secrets are betrayed and emotions are unleashed when the young women confront her conservative tyranny with terrifying consequences.

Federico García Lorca is irrefutably considered one of Spain’s foremost poets and playwrights. Born in 1898, he was assassinated during the first few months of the Spanish Civil War, in August 1936. Although his life was cut short, he left an overwhelming body of work, revealing a true genius of language, metaphor, image and musicality. He completed the manuscript of The House of Bernarda Alba just two months before his disappearance.

In many ways, the play is prophetic: in the aftermath of the Civil War, Spain suffered under a conservative dictatorship for over thirty years. The character of Bernarda Alba can be seen as a portrait of the Generalísimo Francisco Franco.

“I have been obsessed with García Lorca since my adolescence and directed his Blood Wedding here at Northeastern University in 2010,” shares Director Antonio Ocampo-Guzman, “Because my own creative activity had brought me to a place where I was creating in both Spanish and English, I decided to tackle the translation and adaptation of that text—I wanted to get as close as I could to Lorca. It was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life, and so, I’ve done it again for this production. Translating and adapting is one of the places where I find most of my true self: the homeless bilingual and bicultural phenomenon becomes an asset.”

He continues: “I have been surprised by how resonant this story has been for the fourteen extraordinary women who play in this production, and for the rest of the team. The cast very quickly took command of this story as a way to express the difficult challenges women face on this campus, and in this city. The inappropriate behavior, discrimination, harassment and abuse that daily occurs on this campus need to be brought to the open. We must put a stop to this culture of ignorance and misogyny.”

“May the story of Bernarda and her daughters serve as a provocation for more dialogue.”

Tickets for NU students are just $5 – $8 and can be purchased through myNEU.

The performances on October 21 and 28 will be followed by ReActs – post-play conversations about the themes and ideas of the play, featuring cast members and faculty and students from the Northeastern community. On October 21, Dr. Barbara Corbett, Lecturer in the Department of Languages, Literature and Cultures, will moderate the discussion. On October 28, Tania Muiño-Loureiro, Academic Specialist in CSSH’s World Languages Center, will preside. Both will be joined by members of the cast and crew.

The cast features 14 women – a mix of upper- and under-classmen, Theatre majors and minors, as well as non-majors. The design team includes three faculty members and an outside professional designer, while all of the crew positions – from stage management to costume run crew – are staffed by students.

For a performance schedule, tickets, and additional information, visit: