New York City
Repertorio Español presents The House of the Spirits (La casa de los espíritus), a
new play by Caridad Svich, based on Isabel Allende’s best-selling novel, under the
direction of José Zayas. The piece was commissioned by Repertorio and marks a first time collaboration with Caridad Svich. The production is presented in Spanish with live simultaneous English translation.
Allende’s first novel, The House of the Spirits, was published in 1982 and quickly catapulted her to literary stardom. The novel, which became a National Bestseller, was widely heralded as a feminist response to Gabriel García Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude.
Charting the rise and fall of the Trueba family in an un-named Latin American country (reminiscent of Chile), the play spans the 1920s through the 1970s, as the country moves through enormous sociopolitical changes that culminate in a devastating dictatorship. The story is told from the sensorial point of view of the
youngest of three generation of women, Alba, who is held as the play opens, in a torture room by the government. The swirling memories, frightening and amusing, lyrical and fantastic, illuminate the stage as Alba records her family’s history and ultimately finds the strength to recover her own story.
Through its unique style, the play delves on themes such as abuse of political power, the horrors of stifling dictatorships and women’s struggles for independence and equal rights in a world where men seamlessly avoid the consequences for their actions.