April 23, 2020
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Release: Oct. 8, 2019
GAMBIER, Ohio — Kenyon College students will take center stage for the production of “The House of Bernarda Alba” on Thursday, Oct. 17, at 8 p.m.; Friday, Oct. 18, at 8:30 p.m.; and Saturday, Oct. 19, at 2 p.m. and at 8 p.m. The play, a fiery and poetic drama that follows the story of a widowed mother and her five daughters, will be presented in the Bolton Theater, 205 College-Park St.
Written by Federico García Lorca — one of the most influential Spanish poets and dramatists of the 20th century — the play explores themes of oppression, gender norms, death and depression. Set within the walls of a repressive household in a small village in Spain, five sisters live under the reign of their tyrannical mother and must suppress their hopes and dreams. Following the death of her husband, the family’s matriarch Bernarda Alba forces her daughters to sit in the house and mourn with her for the next eight years, claiming that it is a family tradition.
Katherine Reber, a junior English and drama double major from Erie, Pennsylvania, highlighted the importance of the play as a societal critique.
“People like Bernarda are created,” said Reber, who brings Bernarda’s character to life in the play. “She does horrible things, but she is also in tremendous pain. That is not, of course, an excuse for her behavior, but I think it’s interesting to consider the fact that the story we’re seeing is somewhat cyclical, and Bernarda was likely raised with ideas about gender that were just as restraining as the ones we see her enforce.”
The play, directed by Visiting Assistant Professor of Drama Thomas Aulino, contributes to the College’s yearlong celebration of the 50th anniversary of coeducation at Kenyon.
“I chose the play because I had been thinking in the last year about all of the issues that women are facing today, especially in America, but all over the world,” Aulino said. “‘The House of Bernarda Alba’ is a play I have loved for many years, and it’s rarely done and very hard to do. So I thought maybe this would be an opportunity to explore that play. It’s certainly a perfect time for it.”
Tickets are $7.50 for general admission, and for groups of 10 or more, $5. Tickets are $4 for seniors, non-Kenyon students and children under 12, and $2 for Kenyon students. To reserve tickets, contact the box office at 740-427-5546.
For more information, contact the Department of Dance, Drama, and Film at 740-427-5531.