CLEMSON — The Clemson Players student theater company and the performing arts department will present “The House of Bernarda Alba,” a work that pits mother against daughters and sisters against sisters, at 8 p.m. Monday-Thursday, Oct. 5-8, at the Brooks Center for the Performing Arts.

Written by Spanish poet and playwright Frederico Garcia Lorca and translated by Emily Mann, “The House of Bernarda Alba” is the story of Bernarda, a newly widowed mother of five adult daughters. Set in a small village where gossip rules and family reputation is most important, the daughters are forced to bend to their mother’s will and ways.

At the center of this story is Pepe el Romano. Bernarda has arranged for Pepe to marry Angustias, her eldest daughter and the only child from her first marriage. She is unaware that Pepe is the lover of her youngest daughter, Adela. Pepe is a source of interest and lust for her other three daughters as well.  

“The circumstance sets off a series of events that open the floodgates of domestic turmoil as the daughters turn against their mother and each other,” said Kerrie Seymour, the Clemson theater professor directing the all-female cast. “Throughout the play, desires must be kept secret and truths are ignored.”

When asked why this play is being produced now, Seymour said, “I kept thinking about silence and the repercussions of silence. Throughout history, when someone is being silenced, the results are always negative. The price of Bernarda’s silence is very high.”

Frederico Garcia Lorca’s plays are among the best examples of 20th century poetic drama, marked with brilliance, originality and flair. Born in a small Spanish village in 1898, Lorca is best known for his poetry as well as the dramatic works he produced in the 1930s.  Among his most powerful plays are “Bodas de Sangre” (“Blood Wedding”) “Yerma” and “La Casa de Bernarda Alba” (“The House of Bernarda Alba”).  

In 1936, at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War, Lorca was taken into custody by Nationalist forces because of his personal connections and sympathies for the Republican cause. Under circumstances that are unclear, he was killed on the morning of Aug. 19, 1936.

Presented in the Brooks Center’s intimate 100-seat Bellamy Theatre, “The House of Bernada Alba” contains adult themes and is not suitable for all audiences. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students. Tickets and information are available at www.clemson.edu/Brooks or by callling the Brooks Center box office at 864-656-7787 from 1 to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday.

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