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Lorca's masterwork portrait of oppressed women and seething desire in Spain gets an absurdist makeover in Bedlam's production in NYC. Read more

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This project was successfully funded on February 24, 2013.

Lorca's masterwork portrait of oppressed women and seething desire in Spain gets an absurdist makeover in Bedlam's production in NYC.

About this project

Bedlam Ensemble is starting 2013 with a bang... and the end of the world! Two plays about women struggling to survive as the absurd totalitarian worlds they live in collapse around them, written by two of the 20th century's most critically-acclaimed hispanic dramatists, in a double bill at Long Island City's beloved Secret Theater: Marisol by José Rivera and The House of Bernarda Alba by Federico García Lorca. Masks and madmen, warring angels and angry women, a dead dad, a green dress, a handgun, and one senile deity make these two plays you won't want to miss!

Why Back Bedlam's Bernarda?

Bedlam is a growing theater company and this is our most ambitious project yet. Your support will not only help us pay for the materials we need to put on a great show, it will also get you a great seat so you can enjoy the performance you made possible. 

Become a backer of our upcoming production of The House of Bernarda Alba and enjoy complimentary reserved seats for less than you would pay at the box office!

Your support will go towards:

  • $300 for costumes so we can look pretty for you
  • $200 for stilts because what good's an overbearing mother if she can't look down on you from 8 feet up?
  • $400 for sets to put the "house" in The House of Bernarda Alba
  • $200 for postcards and posters to get the word out
  • $200 for lighting so you can see our smiling faces (or horrible grimaces)
  • $2000 for theater rental 
  • ...and more!

Without your support, there can be no play, so please help us put on a great show for you!

Art by Chelsey Tyler Wood
Art by Chelsey Tyler Wood

The House of Bernarda Alba

By Federico García Lorca

Directed by Michel Chahade 

Scenic Design by Nikolay Sviridchik

Music by Jeremy Rafal  

Choreography by Olga Belomestnova    

Assistant Director: Ollya Keney 

Featuring

Bernarda: Catherine LeClair  

Angustias: Michael Donaldson  

Magdalena: Yael Barel  

Amelia: Renee Yakemchuk  

Martirio - Aimiende Negbenebor Sela

Adela - Olga Belomestnova 

Servant: Genia Startseva 

La Poncia: Jeremy Rafal 

Prudencia/ Beggar woman with little girl and Maria Josefa: Meeni Naqvi 

The Story

Upon her second husband's death, domineering matriarch Bernarda Alba imposes an eight-year mourning period on her household, as per her family tradition. Bernarda has five daughters, aged between 20 and 39, whom she has controlled inexorably and prohibited from any form of relationship. The mourning period further isolates them and tension mounts within the household.

Bernarda's eldest daughter Angustias inherited a large sum of money from her father, Bernarda's first husband, but Bernarda's second husband has left only small sums to his four daughters. Angustias' wealth attracts a young, attractive suitor from the village, Pepe el Romano. Her sisters are jealous, believing that it's unfair that Angustias, plain and rather sickly, should receive both the majority of the inheritance and the freedom to marry and escape their suffocating home environment.

Youngest sister Adela, stricken with sudden spirit and jubilation after her father's funeral, is stricken when she discovers that Angustias will be marrying Pepe. While he publicly woos the older sister for her money, he courts the younger for her beauty in secret. But in a house with five sisters, a despotic mother, a grandmother locked in her room, and servants that hear everything, no affair can stay hidden for long.

In rural Spain, where a woman's purity is second only to her wealth, love will do anything to escape, even if that means destruction.

About Bedlam

Bedlam Ensemble is a not-for-profit theater company of actors, directors, producers, and designers dedicated to presenting live and recorded performances that juxtapose classic texts and new ideas. We launched our 2012-2013 season with a remount of Outside Providence by Andrew Joseph Clarke at Manhattan Rep following sold out performances at FringeNYC. After our repertory productions of Bernarda/Marisol will be Neil LaBute's darkly comic Broadway hit Reasons To Be Pretty.

Risks and challenges

Bedlam Ensemble is taking a leap to grow. By presenting two plays in repertory, we are doubling the number of possible performances for each show and increasing our draw for both audiences and critics. This is the next step in the development of our company, and we are excited to raise our work to the next level artistically and comercially. Fundraising is only beginning. There are countless challenges in rehearsal to be worked through and several logistical nightmares waiting in the wings with back-to-back performances of alternating plays night after night for almost two weeks. Sets may need repairs, props can go missing, and the audience could be turned away by another sudden rainstorm. But we are not just a company of actors, directors, and producers. We are a community, an ensemble. If we can join together with a few people in a room, we can fill an empty space with a performance, regardless of power failures, costume malfunctions, or any of the dozen daily disasters that make live theater so precarious and wonderful. Become a backer and, more importantly, be an audience member, and we will tell you a story.

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Funding period

- (25 days)