The House of Bernarda Alba

By Federico García Lorca

Directed by Elizabeth Huddle

An intimate look into the home of Bernarda Alba and her five daughters. Following the death of her second husband, Bernarda Alba mandates an eight-year period of mourning for the household. When the oldest daughter, Angustias, is courted for her inheritance by the most handsome man in the village, jealous passions flare among the five daughters. Nonetheless, Bernarda Alba rules the small home with an iron fist, and the results of her reign prove staggering. Political yet private, THE HOUSE OF BERNARDA ALBA tests the constraints of social customs, the family, and love.

"One hundred years after this remarkable writer's birth, Lorca's The House Of Bernarda Alba still stands as one of his crowning achievements," said Rep Artistic Director D. Scott Glasser. "Ten women are at the center of a household of maternal control and repressed desires. The Rep has gathered wonderful actresses and a dynamic director to bring this Spanish community to life."

Produced by The Rep

Presented at the Madison Civic Center in the Isthmus Playhouse.

March 9 &endash; April 1, 2001




March 9

8:00 pm

March 10

5/8:30 pm

March 11*

1:30 pm

March 14

7:30 pm

March 15

7:30 pm

March 16

8:00 pm

March 17

5/8:30 pm

March 18

5:00 pm

March 21*

7:30 pm

March 22

7:30 pm

March 23

8:00 pm

March 24

5/8:30 pm

March 25

1:30/5 pm

March 28

7:30 pm

March 29

7:30 pm

March 30

8:00 pm

March 31

5/8:30 pm

April 1

5:00 pm

*audience discussion

Ticket prices are $27 for Friday and Saturday performances and $22 for Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday performances. Tickets are on sale at the Madison Civic Center ticket office, or call (608) 266-9055. For information on GROUP RATES, call Madison Rep at 256-0029 x13.

AUDIENCE TALKBACKS are scheduled to follow the 1:30 p.m. performance on March 11 and the 7:30 p.m. performance on March 21. This is an informal gathering for the audience to meet with the director and cast members to discuss the play. An audience guide for THE HOUSE OF BERNARDA ALBA is available beginning March 1 on the web at The audience guide provides in-depth information about the playwright, the play's themes, and historical context.


The Director

Madison Repertory Theatre is pleased to welcome guest director ELIZABETH HUDDLE. Huddle has worked with such organizations as San Francisco's American Conservatory Theatre, Repertory Theatre of Lincoln Center, Sundance Institute, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, San Francisco Opera, San Diego's Old Globe Theatre, Denver Theater Center, Intiman Theatre in Seattle, Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles, and Portland Center Stage. She produced the original production of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play The Kentucky Cycle.

"It is a pleasure to welcome the celebrated theatre artist Elizabeth Huddle to the Rep to direct The House of Bernarda Alba," said Glasser. "Her work as a director and actress in major repertory theaters across the country has earned her great national acclaim. I am delighted that she is at the helm of this play."

The Cast

Long-time Rep favorite COLLEEN BURNS will play the title role of Bernarda Alba. Burns first appeared at the Rep in the 1974 production of A Streetcar Named Desire and is best known in Madison for her work in the Rep's productions of A…My Name is Alice. Chicago actress CAITLIN HART makes her Rep debut as Maria Josefa, Alba's 80-year-old mother. Hart has performed on stage at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago, on film in The Fugitive, and on television as Sadie in All My Children. SUSAN PAPA will play the reckless youngest daughter, Adela. Papa was seen last summer in the American Players' Theatre productions of The Government Inspector and A Midsummer Night's Dream. Madison actress MARGARET INGRAHAM returns to the Rep in the role of Poncia, Bernarda Alba's maid and confidante. Ingraham's previous Rep credits include Big Mama in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Betty in The Foreigner. DIANE ROBINSON and ELISABETH ADWIN make their Madison Rep debuts in The House of Bernarda Alba. Robinson, who will play the passive oldest daughter, Angustias, has recently been seen at the Mark Taper Forum and South Coast Repertory Theatre in Los Angeles. Adwin makes her home in Portland, Oregon, and has performed at Portland Repertory Theatre and Portland Center Stage. She will play the jealous sister Matririo. Local actresses MONICA LYONS, JAMIE ENGLAND, KAREN PRAGER, and GIULIANA MIOLO round out the cast.

The Artistic Team

THE HOUSE OF BERNARDA ALBA features Madison Rep's resident design team: FRANK SCHNEEBERGER, scenery; MARY WALDHART, costumes; JOHN FRAUTSCHY, lights and JACK SAYRE, sound. The production stage manager is MEGHAN GAUGER.

About the Playwright

FEDERICO GARCIA LORCA was born in 1899 near Granada, Spain and began his writing career as a poet. Inspired by native folklore and religious customs, Lorca's early work earned him recognition from the elite cultural community. He developed friendships with prominent Spanish artists, including the painter Salvador Dali. Lorca traveled to the United States and studied poetry at Columbia University in New York. In the early 1930s when changes in the Spanish government sparked civil war, Lorca's writings reflected the turmoil, ultimately supporting a republic. THE HOUSE OF BERNARDA ALBA was written in 1936, the same year Lorca was assassinated. This play was to mark the start of a stylistic change for the playwright. When it was later staged in 1945, THE HOUSE OF BERNARDA ALBA drew international acclaim and assured Lorca recognition as one of the most provocative writers in contemporary literature.