The House of Bernarda Alba

Chay, yew and Goei, Glen and Vanderstraaten, Marcia (2014) The House of Bernarda Alba. [Production]

Item Type: Production
Title: The House of Bernarda Alba
Synopsis:

Wild Rice’s has an honoured and successful tradition of producing international classics of relevance to Singapore, often resetting works to better reflect SE Asia – known as the Masterpiece Theatre Repertoire. The House of Bernarda Alba was a rare chance to see this last masterpiece from the Spanish playwright, Federico Garcia Lorca. Lorca, also a major poet and pioneer of magic realism, was tragically executed during the Spanish civil war – killed much as was Jose Rizal in the Philippines 40 years earlier: simply for writing words not appreciated by the authorities.
Lorca’s works are rarely seen in Singapore and this all-female play a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the skills of Singapore actresses. Further, with Glen Goei as director and Wild Rice Artistic Director, Ivan Heng, as producer, the event was much-awaited and expectations were high. Originally titled La casa de Bernarda Alba – a drama of women in the villages of Spain – publicity material made it clear that this interpretation was to be set in a Peranakan household with Bernarda Alba as the matriarch - even more formidable than Emily of Emerald Hill, made internationally famous by Ivan, Glen and Wild Rice.
Featuring an impressive acting company, with Claire Wong as Bernarda and Jo Kukathas as Poncia, and further ‘stars’ as the daughters, the production expanded upon Lorca’s original cast list of 19 women, bringing in a chorus of another 27 women as ensemble/chorus – keeping them onstage throughout the action. The adaptation was by Singapore-born Chay Yew, now Artistic Director of Victory Gardens Theatre, Chicago with set design by Wong Chee Wai, costumes by Ivan Heng, lighting by Lim Yu-Beng and Sound Design by Jeffrey Yue, quality was in every aspect.
The work was sold as An Explosive Tale of Suppressed Desires and Jealousies and in the programme notes, Director Glen Goei is most explicit in naming the main relevant theme – in words that perhaps have never been so boldly stated in arts and public in Singapore.
A theatre that is sensitive and well-oriented in all its branches, from tragedy to vaudeville, can in a few years change the sensibility of all its people. Federico Garcia Lorca
The theatre is a school of weeping and of laughter, a free forum, where man can question norms that are outmoded or mistaken, and explain with living example the eternal norms of the human heart. Federico Garcia Lorca
(Synopsis and Theme)
One matriarch. Five daughters. Eight years of mourning.
To keep up appearances after the death of her husband, tyrannical mother Bernarda resolves to seal her family off from the world – a decision that effectively compels her five daughters to give up love and happiness for a life of duty and obligation. Within the oppressive confines of the Alba household, tensions swirl and emotions run high. The arrival of a seductive suitor lays bare the bitter rivalries and repressed sexuality that lie at the twisted, tragic heart of Bernarda’s family.
The House of Bernarda Alba touches on many themes that recur frequently in his work. In the play, Lorca asks several questions about the role of women, the nature of authority and authoritarianism, and the repression of oneself – questions which remain relevant today.
The tyranny of Bernarda Alba over her household was Lorca’s response to the actions of the Fascist party in Spain, and the themes of the play would have resonated with its intended audience. And yet,
eighty years after it was written, the play continues to resonate through Chay Yew’s sensitive and intelligent adaptation.
The programme notes contain statements on the following themes explored in this production: The Role of Women; Authority and Authoritarianism; the Catholic Church; Keeping up Appearances; Repressing Oneself.

Cast

Maria Josefa ..... Margaret Chan
Blanca .............. Sharda Harrison
Poncia .............. Jo Kukathas
Bernarda Alba .. Claire Wong
Adela ................ Glory Ngim
Angustias .......... Neo Swee Lin
Martirio .............. Noorlinah Mohamed
Magdelena ........ Karen Tan
Amelia .............. Serene Chen
Prudencia ......... Sharon Lim

ENSEMBLE
Ingrid Bianca, Caroline Chin, Sharon Joy Frese, Srieena Kezi, Sophie Khoo, Jasmine Koh, Deborah Lee, Michelle Lee, Beryl Leong, Janet Liu, Marya Abdul Malek, Irene Ong, Nur Farhana Rosli, Sim Yan Ying, Samantha Soh, Eleanor Song, Divitra Sukumaran, Gladys Tan, Ruth Tan, Dawn Teo, Susan Teo, Maya Tozzi, Tyen Ying Fong, Van Su Yun, Fernanda Wee, Daisy Yeo, Flora Yeo

PRODUCTION

Author ............................... Federico Garcia Lorca
Playwright /Translator ....... Chay Yew (based on Lorca’s play)
Director ............................. Glen Goei
Assistant Director ............. Marcia Vanderstraaten
Set Designer .................... Wong Chee Wai
Lighting Designer ............. Lim Yu-Beng
Sound Designer ............... Jeffrey Yue (Ctrl Fre@K)
Music Composer /Arranger ......... Lupus Af Intra
Costume Designer ...................... Ivan Heng
Assistant to Costume Designer .. Theresa Chan, Samuel Tan
Movement Coaches .......... Khek Ah Hock Aaron, Ix Wong Thien Pau
Hair Designer ................... Ashley Lim
Make-Up ........................... Beno Lim (M.A.C)
Producer
 ........................... Tony Trickett
Production Manager ......... Koh Bee Bee
Production Executive ....... Sazali Hussain
Production Co-ordinator ... Deena Shaqinah
Technical Manager ........... Kenny Wong
Stage Manager
 ................ Juraidah Rahman

Assistant Stage Managers ... Charlene Poh, Sai Sandhya Silvalingam
Props Mistresses ............. Charlene Poh, Sai Sandhya Silvalingam
Make-up Artists
 ................ Bobbie Ng, Jennifer Koh, Ray

Hair Assistants ................. Jane Neo, Michelle Wan

Wardrobe Manager .......... Lim Zhi Ying

Wardrobe Assistants ........ Melissa Aslam, Belle Pereira Ho, Loo An Ni
Prep Dressers .................. Valeree Ray Lee, Nur Aainaa Bte Abd Rahman

Subjects: Performing Arts - Theatre
Divisions: Work in process
Depositing User: Ms Ashalatha Krishnan
Date Deposited: 09 Mar 2015 08:02
Last Modified: 27 Mar 2015 09:27
URI: http://drlib.lasalle.edu.sg/id/eprint/318