THE HOUSE OF THE SPIRITS by ProQuest

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									the house of                               a new play by Caridad Svich
                                     based on the novel by Isabel Allende




                                                                                             Photo	1:	Alba	(Denise	Quiñones).

Figures:                                                        Notes:
ALBA	(live and on video), witness to history (may be on stage   This play should be performed with an interval after the 2nd
 throughout)                                                    act. The figure of Alba may be on stage throughout the entire
CLARA, her grandmother                                          play as witness and archivist of her history.
ROSA	 LA	 BELLA, her aunt (live and on video), also plays       Melodies to the original songs in the text may be obtained
BLANCA, her mother                                              by contacting the author or the lyrics may be set by another
ESTEBAN	TRUEBA, her grandfather                                 composer. Doubling of roles suggested above is preferred.
ESTEBAN	GARCIA, Esteban Trueba’s bastard son, a colonel         Sections of text in parentheses are not meant to be spoken.
 (live and on video)                                            Text from Allende’s novel has not been used in this adaptation,
                                                                only her characters, themes, and narrative arcs.
SEVERO, her great-grandfather, also plays PEDRO	GARCIA,         *An additional actor may be cast, if the role of Transito is
 foreman of the Three Marias ranch, and FATHER	ANTONIO,         not doubled with the roles of Nivea and Woman 2. Woman
 a priest                                                       3 as Count of Satigny is intended as cross-gendered casting.
PEDRO	 TERCERO, Alba’s father, field hand, revolutionary,
 singer, also plays GUARD, and BARABBAS, Clara’s dog (a
 puppet)
CHORUS (women of the city, women of the country):               The action takes place in the 20th century in the
 WOMAN	1, also plays PANCHA, peasant girl                       capitol city of an unnamed Latin American country
 WOMAN	 2, also plays TRANSITO	 SOTO, prostitute,               (reminiscent of Chile): on the Tres Marias ranch and its
  NIVEA, Alba’s great-grandmother*                              outskirts in the countryside, in the big house on the
 WOMAN	 3, also plays FERULA, Esteban Trueba’s sister,          corner, in hidden rooms where souls cry out for liberty,
  and COUNT	OF	SATIGNY, Blanca’s suitor                         and in the memories of families over some 50-odd
                                                                years (from 1920s-1970s), wherein huge sociopolitical
                                                                changes occur unexpectedly…as if out of thin air.



76 TheatreForum
the spiRits                                                                         photographs by Michael Palma




Photo	2:	Esteban	Trueba	(Nelson	Landriu).
                                                                                                   this play is for José Zayas
I:		CLARA’S	NOTEBOOKS                        you stash the weapons?                        ALBA: Why do you—?
                                             ALBA: I didn’t stash any—                     ESTEBAN	 GARCIA: I ask the
1.		the	encounter	(1)                        ESTEBAN	 GARCIA: Don’t make me                questions here.
                                             angry, little one.                            ALBA: Your voice…. I recognize it.
In the torture theatre of the clandestine    ALBA: My name is Alba. [Introduction,	        ESTEBAN	 GARCIA: You recognize
jail, Alba is detained. She’s blindfolded.   Photo	7,	page	75]                             your blood?
Colonel Esteban Garcia interrogates her.     ESTEBAN	 GARCIA: Here you’re just             ALBA: What?
They’ve been at this for hours and days.     a little one, a little bitch, nothing more.   ESTEBAN	GARCIA: Quiet. Quiet now.
A ritual. There’s the sound of a soccer      Now, where’d you stash them?                  I’m going to teach you how to recognize…
match heard on a distant radio. Video        ALBA: I didn’t stash anything. I swear.       ALBA: No…
captures everything.                         ESTEBAN	 GARCIA: Do you think                 Esteban draws close to her — prelude to
                                             I’m an idiot? Do you think I’ll just          an act of violence…
ESTEBAN	GARCIA: Name.                        swallow anything?                             The roar of the soccer match on the
ALBA: I told you.                            ALBA: No.                                     radio. Light shift.
ESTEBAN	GARCIA: Again.                       ESTEBAN	GARCIA: No. You’re the one
ALBA: Alba.                                  who’s going to swallow. Pretty little bug.    2.		first	portrait:	Alba	in	grey
ESTEBAN	GARCIA: Family?                      You’ll swallow it, right? …I can’t hear
ALBA: I told you.                            you, little one.                              Alba is now in another space — released
ESTEBAN	GARCIA: Again.                       ALBA: Yes.                                    in mind from the split self, fragmented
ALBA: The Trueba family.                     ESTEBAN	 GARCIA: Yes. And                     by violence — where time and memories
ESTEBAN	 GARCIA: And where did               swallow. Swallow!                             flow, a space where the reconstruction of



                                                                                                               TheatreForum 77
the notebooks written by Clara begins:          CLARA: Barabbas! Barabbas! Where                ALBA: She appears. Out of nothingness.
words from the notebooks are written            are you? (She w
								
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