The ensamble

The House of Bernarda Alba
"La Casa de Bernarda Alba"


Federico Garcia Lorca

Translated into Swedish by Lars Bjurman
Publisher ATR
Adaptation by Jan Jonson and the ensemble

Department of Correction and Rehabilitation Hinseberg, Frövi in Sweden 2000 - 2001




                                                    Bernarda Alba - Patty
                                                    Poncia - Ulla-Britt
                                                    Augustias - Agneta                                                     
                                                    Magdalena - Susanne
                                                    Amelia - Kim
                                                    Martirio - Lena
                                                    Adela - Alicia
                                                    Maria Josefa (Bernardas’ mother) - Rosita




I am a woman from Chile who has a 9 year sentence and has six children. I have decided to do this play because I think it is fun to be a different person and I like ”The House of Bernarda Alba” because it reminds me of my own childhood. Besides, I am locked up. It feels good to be able to express the hate one has inside and theatre becomes my release. I am grateful I was given this opportunity.



For me, every letter is magic and together they form words. Words who in turn give me the possibility of translating my feelings and actions in just that, words, so that you all will understand. To act is for me a way to find a release to feelings, thoughts and free flowing fantasy. Though Poncia I can freely express my own feelings and thoughts – without retaliations from “the higher powers”. Theatre is our thing inside this prison, something I can decide over myself. It gives me a chance to a so called escape from reality, at least for a short time – but it is wonderful...



The reason I joined this theatre project is that I took the chance for a big personal challenge since in fact I prefer staying in the background. It strengthens me and my self-confidence that I dare to do this. The play bears a strong resemblance to our situation at Hinseberg. In the play, the daughters are prisoners in their own home – we are prisoners of Hinseberg.



The interest for theatre came to me when Janne held his performance of ”Moments of reality” for us girls here at Hinsan. It gives me an opportunity to act out my feelings and thoughts. I learned something new that I surely will have use of the day I get out. Here, we share sorrows, joy and laughter with each other as well as all that the play has enriched us with. If we had been out in society, then it would probably have been different.



I am eternally grateful to be a part of the theatre group. The play “The house of Bernarda Alba” feels important to perform here at Hinseberg. The performance is not meant as amusement or as a distraction, neither is it for the ensemble or for the audience; instead, my wish is that we in the theatre group shall be able to take part in communicating the situation in which many of us inmates live. Maybe we can reach to the audience’s heart with the help of Lorca’s play. But, to each and every one who has the opportunity to see us on this stage I want to say: THIS IS A PIECE OF REALITY, A DOCUMENTARY.



Imagine for once being able to live up to the beautiful and the delightful. To take off the mask and release all of the painstakingly hidden stuff that one stores up. The bitterness, the loneliness. Thanks to Lorca and by putting on a theatre face, I place myself naked on stage in all my ugliness. It is liberation, my liberation. If you suffer from stage fright like me, then this is an irresistible challenge. Besides, I see it as a privilege to cooperate with Riksteatern and, above all, with Janne who has an immense soul.



My name is Alicia and I portray Adela. Who am I really? Alicia or Adela?
When I was given this part I was offered, maybe for the first time, a means of expression that gives me the strength to survive this darkness. To partake in this play and to work with Jan Jonson and Riksteatern has enriched my life in many ways. I have realised that you can if you want- and this is thanks to Janne! Thank you to everyone who participated and made this possible for us.



I am very happy to be able to take part in “The House of Bernarda Alba”. It is one of the few things that I myself could choose here at the prison. I like the play and I like my role as “Maria Josefa”. My wish is that I will be able to portray her such as I understand her: a woman, just as restrained as the daughters by an unmerciful power but with a free spirit that still has its dreams and desires intact.


Costume seamstress and assistant to the director

I have made the costumes and I am the assistant to the director. What such a person does, I have no idea but all will probably be good in the end. To make the clothes was an enormous challenge for me; partly because I am making theatre costumes for Riksteatern, I see this as a great honour, and partly because I have never sewn clothes before in my entire life. When Jan was so happy with the result, it gave me huge self confidence and I think that I really have managed this challenge. It feels huge to be a part of the collaboration with Riksteatern, principally Isa and Jan, and that they, even if they sometimes may have doubted this project, never ever showed their worry for us. Thank you for a GOOD correctional system.

Director, stage design, lighting design, costume and make up design – Jan Jonson, Riks Drama
Assistant to the director, props finder and costume seamstress – Inger, Hinseberg
Stage manager– Bertil Lannebro, Riksteatern
Technical coordinator – John Smith, Riksteatern
Coffin made by  – Kim    Animals and gardening department – Hinseberg
Make up artists and dressers – Gullan and Sally, Hinseberg
Hair dresser  - Chammiran Daniel from Olle & Marie, Stockholm
Purchase of fabrics and costume materials - Annika Sundqvist and Gittan Gidlund Ferger, Riksteatern
Purchase of props - Britt-Marie Eriksson and Eva Zidén, Riksteatern
Producer - Christer Uhre  Riksteatern and Isa Stenberg, Riks Drama
Press photo - Anette Nantell, Pressens bild
Performance photo - Lasse Persson, Örebro
Graphic design - Peter Roth, Riksteatern
Editor - Peter Tornberg, Riksteatern

"The house of Bernarda Alba" is collaboration between The Department of Corrections and Rehabilitations in Örebro and Riks Drama, Riksteatern

Premiere at the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitations at Hinseberg on the 3rd of April 2001.
Ten performances were given to an invited audience.








© Copyright. Jan Jönson.