The Center for Fine and Performing Arts at Seminole State College of Florida continues its 2017-18 cultural arts season with a theater production of “The House of Bernarda Alba,” offered in English and for the first time ever, entirely in Spanish. The play is directed by veteran actress and Seminole State alumna Nadia Garzon.
Garzon’s resume in the performing arts is extensive, with attributes ranging from on-air work with Disney, to voice-talent work for the Library of Congress, to a multitude of theater performances and directing for social change in several parts of the world, including Brazil, Mexico and other countries throughout Central America.
“Diversity is important in everything so that we can recognize other points of view, values, realities, experiences and truths,” says Garzon.
Oftentimes said to be the masterwork of Spain’s greatest poet and playwright, Federico Garcia Lorca’s “The House of Bernarda Alba” is filled with themes of repression, lust, misery and traditionalism. The play was Lorca’s last work before he died in 1936. Its plot surrounds an autocratic mother who imposes eight years of mourning upon her daughters, in a small, oppressive, 20th-century Spanish village. In the story, Bernarda Alba, the mother, strictly enforces the mourning phase on her daughters, with antics such as not allowing them to go out, making them wear black, not allowing them to wear makeup, and everything else she deems as "respecting" the deceased. In general, they are prisoners of the house and are expected to follow societal and religious expectations imposed on women.
All of the characters are female, and several of them are in love with, Pepe El Romano, the only male character. When the mounting tension erupts, tragedy ensues.
“This is my first time directing at Seminole State,” says Garzon. “I was thrilled especially knowing that this would be the first time the College would have a full production in Spanish.”
There are seven opportunities to see “The House of Bernarda Alba” at Seminole State this season. The play, which opens Nov. 10, is an English translation, and will be offered entirely in Spanish at the Nov. 12 performance at 2 p.m. and the Nov. 18 performance at 7:30 p.m. All performances will be in Harriett’s Theatre (building G) on the Sanford/Lake Mary Campus.
Seminole State’s study body is 27 percent Hispanic, making the College an official Hispanic Serving Institution. Hispanic residents also make up 24 percent of Florida’s population, according to the latest figures by the U.S. Census Bureau.
“I think it is important to recognize the growing Latino population in the United States and in Central Florida in particular,” says Garzon. “We also need to provide opportunities for Latino actors and actresses to perform in what many times is their first language. When I first started working in the U.S. there weren’t many opportunities to do things in Spanish. Since the Latino community is becoming more and more visible, now is a great time to do more of it.”
Ticket are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and free for Seminole State students, faculty and staff. They are available for purchase online or through the Center for Fine and Performing Arts Theatre Box Office (building G) on the Sanford/Lake Mary Campus.
“The Hispanic diaspora of Central Florida is ever increasing,” says Paul Luby, dean of arts and communications at Seminole State. “Offering Spanish language performances of Federico Garcia Lorca’s ‘La Casa de Bernarda Alba’, celebrates the culture of a vital component of our community, and is keeping with Seminole State’s mission to provide exemplary learning opportunities to our diverse community."
Seminole State’s Center for Fine and Performing Arts offers programs in art, music and theater as well as a wide variety of concerts, theatre productions, gallery exhibits and other cultural events. For more information about the Center, including calendars of all upcoming cultural events at Seminole State, visit seminolestate.edu/arts.
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