TribLIVE

| AandE


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Seton Hill production of 'The House of Bernarda Alba' designed to give pause

The cast of Seton Hill University's 'The House of Bernarda Alba' rehearse a scene. Credit: Seton Hill University

About Candy Williams
Details

‘The House of Bernarda Alba'

Presented by: Seton Hill University Theatre and Dance Program

When: Friday-Nov. 17 at 8 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays, 2 p.m. this Saturday and 10:30 a.m. Nov. 14

Admission: $16; student and group rates available

Where: William Granger Ryan Theatre, Performing Arts Center, 100 Harrison Ave., Greensburg

Details: 724-552-2929 or www.setonhilltheatre.com

Daily Photo Galleries


By Candy Williams

Published: Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012, 8:53 p.m.

In “The House of Bernarda Alba,” listening to what the characters are not saying is almost more important than the dialogue, according to Lisa Ann Goldsmith, director of Seton Hill University's Theatre and Dance Program production.

The drama by Spanish playwright Federico Garcia Lorca, which opens this weekend in Greensburg, explores the repression of passion and the repression of women by society — and by other women. The all-female cast features Natalie Spanner of Bethel Park, a junior theater-performance major at Seton Hill, as Bernarda Alba, the mother of five grown women in Andalusia, Spain, during the 1930s.

“At the beginning of the play, she is widowed for the second time, and the audience witnesses her dealing with being the definitive matriarch of her household,” Spanner says. “She is a tough woman, authoritative and unyielding.”

Spanner says she has struggled to find sympathy for her character in all that she does to herself and to her family.

“The most difficult part of this play, for me, was finding and, then, using the ugliest parts of myself to bring truth to this character. Bernarda has been a hard woman to maneuver,” she says.

Anna McDunn of McCandless, a sophomore dance major, plays Angustias, the oldest of Alba's five daughters and the only child from her mother's first marriage. This, combined with the fact that both husbands left the majority of their inheritance to her, creates a great deal of tension between Angustias and her sisters.

“Tension evolves into outright animosity when the sisters learn of Angustias' engagement to a much younger and more eligible man,” McDunn says.

Emily Urbaniak of Pittsburgh portrays another daughter, Magdalena, and says the drama includes some intense moments and it should make people think.

“We can all relate to issues within a family, the bond of sisters, or friends, and how we interact with each other, but more importantly, the secrets we keep and what we try to hide from each other. I think that this play will make everyone reflect on their own relationships, especially the women who come to see the show,” Urbaniak says.

Goldsmith says one of her most important goals as director of the Seton Hill production is to help the young women in the play to understand how the repression of passion can have a profound effect on the soul. She hopes that audiences will take away “at least one concept that makes them each think, and pause, perhaps a little longer, the next time their words or actions affect more than just them.”

Candy Williams is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Garden Q&A: Firecracker vine OK for trellis?
  2. Kovacevic: Still waiting on Malkin, Crosby
  3. Timing right for Armstrong Hall of Fame inductee Perroz
  4. Shale oil, gas drilling boom wins favor with labor unions, thwarting environmentalists
  5. Kittanning man part of wrestling show benefitting Ford City Summerfest
  6. Fleury a bright spot among struggling Penguins in playoffs
  7. Rossi: Lack of together time showing for Penguins’ defense
  8. LaBar: Did WWE referee know finish to Undertaker match?
  9. Gov. Corbett’s re-election campaign ‘unflappable’ amid challenges, criticism
  10. Mailings from Pa. incumbents to potential new constituents under fire
  11. Population expansion in Western Pennsylvania hinges on immigrants
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.