THE HOUSE OF BERNARDA ALBA

THE HOUSE OF BERNARDA ALBA - THE HOUSE OF BERNARDA ALBA(La...

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THE HOUSE OF BERNARDA ALBA (La Casa de Bernarda Alba) By Federico Garcia Lorca In a new translation by Caridad Svich February 2003. THE HOUSE OF BERNARDA ALBA Characters: BERNARDA , sixty years old MARIA JOSEFA, Bernarda ’s mother, eighty years old
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ANGUSTIAS, Bernarda ’s daughter, thirty-nine years old MAGDALENA, Bernarda ’s daughter, thirty years old AMELIA, Bernarda ’s daughter, twenty-seven years old MARTIRIO, Bernarda ’s daughter, twenty-four years old ADELA, Bernarda ’s daughter, twenty years old SERVANT, fifty years old PONCIA, sixty years old PRUDENCIA, fifty years old BEGGAR WOMAN with LITTLE GIRL WOMEN MOURNERS WOMAN 1 WOMAN 2 WOMAN 3 WOMAN 4 YOUNG GIRL Author’s note : These three acts are intended as a photographic document ACT ONE An extremely white inner room in Bernarda ’s house . Solid walls. Arched doorways with jute curtains edged with tassels and ruffles. Cattail chairs. Nonrealistic landscapes of nymphs and fairy-tale kings. It is summer. A great ominous silence fills the stage. When the curtain rises, the stage is empty. The sound of tolling bells is heard. The Servant enters. SERVANT The sound of those bells is right inside my head. PONCIA (Appears eating bread and sausage) They’ve been tolling for more than two hours now. Priests have come from all the villages. The church looks beautiful. During the first response Magdalena fainted. SERVANT She’s the one who will be the most alone. PONCIA She was the only one her father loved. Ay! Thank God we’re alone for a little while! I have come to eat. SERVANT If Bernarda were to see you…!
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PONCIA Since now she’s not eating, she wants us all to starve! She is so bossy, so domineering! Well, she can go to hell. I have opened her sausage jar. SERVANT (With sad longing) Poncia, why don’t you give me some for my little girl? PONCIA Go ahead. And take a fistful of chickpeas too while you’re at it. She won’t notice a thing today! VOICE (From off) Bernarda ! PONCIA The old woman. Is she locked up properly? SERVANT With two turns of the key. PONCIA You should put the bar across as well. Her fingers are like five picklocks! VOICE Bernarda ! PONCIA (calling out) She’s near! (To Servant) Make sure everything is sparkling clean. If Bernarda doesn’t see everything shining here she’ll pull out what little hair I’ve got left. SERVANT Oh, that woman! PONCIA Tyrant of all she surveys. She could sit on your heart and watch you die slowly for a year and not once unfix that cold smile from her damn face! Go on, go on, and clean those dishes! SERVANT My hands are blood raw from washing-up all the time. PONCIA She’s the cleanest, she’s the most decent, and she’s the most superior of beings! Her poor husband has earned himself a good long rest. [The bells stop.] SERVANT Have all the relatives come?
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