Contact: Allison Benner, College Relations Associate – Media, 610-740-3790


Allentown, PA (January 25, 2006) – "The House of Bernarda Alba," a dramatic play by Federico Garcia Lorca and adapted by Emily Mann, explores the disturbing effects of upholding tradition and strict morality on family relationships. The play will open on Thursday, February 23, 2006 at 8:00 p.m. in the Samuels Theatre at Cedar Crest College.

Set in a rural village in Spain at the beginning of the 20th century, Bernarda Alba and her daughters live a sheltered existence following the death of their father. Bernarda forces an eight-year mourning period on her daughters to keep them under her control and protect the family's reputation. The tensions build rapidly among the imprisoned women, who soon find themselves searching for a means of escape from Bernarda's tyranny.

"Though originally written in 1936 and set even earlier, the themes that spark and crackle through "The House of Bernarda Alba" – conformity, repression and passion – still smolder in today's society," says Tim Brown, director of the play. To help translate that to the audience, the company has endeavored to create a contemporary feel to the production. They have also added an ensemble of chorus members to represent the ever-judging eyes of the community in which Bernarda and her daughters live.

This adaptation comes from "La Casa de Bernarda Alba," a play written by Federico Garcia Lorca as a social criticism of the pressures of convention and the repression of female sexuality. Widely considered one of Spain's greatest poets and dramatists, Lorca based the play on a real-life neighbor of his family. Lorca, due in part to his fostering of public theatre, was murdered by Nationalists at the start of Spanish Civil War just after the play was completed.

The play has most recently been adapted into a new musical that will open on March 6, 2006 at Lincoln Center Theatre with Phylicia Rashad as the iron-willed Bernarda Alba.

The show runs February 23, 24 and 25th at 8:00 p.m., and February 26th at 2:00 p.m. in the Samuels Theatre in the Tompkins College Center. Admission is $15 for adults and $10 for students and seniors. For more information, please contact the Cedar Crest College Box Office at 610-606-4608.


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