Although the esteemed Shaw Festival has been celebrating the works of writers who wrote during the lifetime of Bernard Shaw (1856-1950), somehow Spanish playwright Federico Garcia Lorca never had an airing at the Ontario festival.
The playwright's masterwork, The House of Bernarda Alba, first staged in 1945, opens July 4 at the Court House Theatre, the most intimate space in the three-venue fest in Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON. Previews began June 8 and performances continue in repertory to Oct. 5.
The poetic, passionate piece about a grieving widow who confines her daughters to a house of mourning for eight years is directed by Tadeusz Bradecki. Nora McLellan is Bernarda Alba, Lynne Cormack is daughter Angustias, Fiona Byrne is daughter Adela, and Patricia Hamilton is the family's nursemaid, Poncia. The cast includes Susie Burnett, Jane Perry and Helen Taylor, with Jillian Cook, Nadia Hovan, Patty Jamieson, Catherine McGregor, Charlotte Moore, Brigitte Robinson, Jenny L. Wright, Danielle Baker and Stephanie Tope.
Designers are Teresa Przybylski (set and costumes) and Kevin LaMotte (lighting). For information about the Shaw Festival, which recently expanded its mandate to include plays written about the period in which Shaw lived, call (800) 511-SHAW or visit Kenneth Jones