September 26, 2022
Outlines of women standing on large hands


When alumnus Ramón Réal Vargas Alanis was asked to propose a play to direct as a guest artist for the Stanislaus State Department of Theatre, the request prompted a “full circle moment.” 

Alanis' mind went to “La Casa de Bernarda Alba,” a play they first read in a theater history class while a student at Stan State.  

“I wanted to highlight and uplift the work of our Latina and Indigenous students, to have their monolingual relatives and friends understand and relate to this production,” said Alanis, who earned bachelor’s degrees in theater and ethnic studies in 2016 and 2017 and works as artistic director of In The Margin, an international arts and advocacy organization incorporated in Sacramento. 

A bilingual production with an all-femme cast, “La Casa de Bernarda Alba” is the story of a domineering matriarch who, following the death of her husband, wields total control over her five young-adult daughters by imposing a traditional eight-year mourning period on her household.  

The production opens at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 29, in the Mainstage Theatre. Tickets are available online. Eight performances are scheduled, with the show closing on Oct. 8. A preview of the play is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 28. 

Get Tickets

Although the play was written by Spanish dramatist Federico Garcia Lorca in 1936, Alanis says the story is timely as the United States deals with “an alarming rise in fascism” and the consequences of the Supreme Court’s recent decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. 

“La Casa de Bernarda Alba offers a critique of conservative politics, restrictive traditions and the repression and control of women. It explores the notion of freedom and the punishment it is met with when trying to obtain liberty,” they said. “After two years of on-and-off quarantines and lockdowns, I wanted to explore the family dynamics in this play and how it can relate to families in the present.” 

Alanis is enjoying directing as a guest artist and is happy to work closely with students while bringing professional theatre experience to the stage at Stan State. 

“It feels so cool to know this production is part of the student’s coursework,” they said. “My goal is to provide tools for the folks involved to experience a regional theatre rehearsal process, to look forward to rehearsal, and to learn while having fun.”