Running time: Two hours and 15 minutes, with one intermission

Inspired by Lorca's play The House of Bernarda Alba, six contemporary women find themselves confined not by the strict codes of social conduct of the early 1900s, but instead by house arrest, physical ailments, trauma, cultural oppression, and a system stacked against them. They seek solace in creating a new kind of family. Performed in a combination of Spanish and English.

Featuring Alma Villegas, Pilar O'Connell, Meme Garcia, Yolanda Suarez, Sophie Franco, and Javonna Arriaga.

Age recommendation: 14+ due to language and subject matter
ACT's policy is to inform audiences of content, but to let parents, guardians, and teachers make decisions that they feel is most appropriate for youth and teens in their care.

audiences of content, but to let parents, guardians, and teachers make decisions that they feel is most appropriate for youth and teens in their care.  - See more at:

Photo by Maryssa Lagervall

eseteatro eSe Teatro empowers local Latino artists to create, produce, and present professional theatre in English, Spanish, bilingual, and Spanglish. We strive for inclusion and self definition of our artists, representing "all the colors in the rainbow of brown" to educate audiences about the many expressions of our Latinidad in the U.S. eSe employs artists and provides them a high visibility professional platform within Seattle mainstream theatre. Our strong social component brings theatre to under-served Latino communities such as monolingual, low-income, homeless, and at-risk youth audiences. For more information on eSe Teatro, visit their website at and Facebook at .

Find out more about eSe Teatro's artistic director, Rose Cano, in this article by The Seattle Times (English) and in an article recently published in both English and Spanish on Read about Latino artists and the Latino theatre scene on HowlRound.


Alma Villegas (Bernie)
Alma is thrilled to be back on the theatrical stage after a long break. She is honored to have been asked to play the role of Bernie in eSe Teatro’s original production of Bernie’s Apt.; especially so after having played the role of Martirio in Lorca’s House of Bernarda Alba, both in college and in the mid-1990s at the long gone Group Theatre at the Seattle Center. Originally from Tijuana, Mexico, Alma received her Bachelor’s in Drama at San Diego State University and after graduating acted in San Diego before moving to Seattle in 1993. She appeared in theatres all over the Seattle area between 1993 and 2000 including Aha Theatre, Empty Space, The Group Theatre, and New City Theatre among others. In 2001, she devoted her time to singing lead with some of Seattle's most popular Latin salsa bands. These experiences prompted her to create her own band called Alma y Azúcar, which offered a diverse selection of Latin music including standards of the traditional bolero (ballad), classic Latin jazz and Cuban rhythms. After recording her second CD with Alma y Azúcar in 2010, she paid special tribute to the Queen of Charanga music Celia Cruz, and in 2014 received a grant from 4Culture to develop and produce a production of Azucar sharing the music and colorful life stories of the grand diva at local high schools. For more information on Azucar, visit Alma wishes to thank Rose and the amazing cast and crew for this amazing opportunity. ¡Las quiero hermanas! 

Alma Villegas

Pilar O'Connell (Marti)
Pilar is thrilled to be making her eSe Teatro/ACTLab debut in Bernie’s Apt. She moved to Seattle from Santa Fe, New Mexico to attend Cornish College of the Arts, where she received her B.F.A. She is the Casting Director at Forward Flux Productions and a proud member of the Pacific Northwest Latino Theatre Commons. Pilar is a strong advocate and activist for racial, gender, and body diversity in theatre. When not on stage you can find her working hard to make theatre accessible for everyone. You may have seen her recently as Lourdes in Luna Gale at Seattle Repertory Theatre. Locally, she has worked with Seattle Repertory Theatre, Seattle Shakespeare Company, Wooden O, Seattle Public Theater, The Icicle Creek New Play Festival at ACT, Soikowski research|performance, Annex Theatre, Theatre22, Forward Flux, Theater Schmeater, and The 14/48 Projects. Thank you to Rose, Julie, las increíbles mujeres, and the production team for making this experience one to remember. Love to Mom/Dad and SR. This summer, Pilar will be directing Terra Incognita by Benjamin Benne at Annex Theatre.

Pilar O'Connell
Meme Garcia (Adela)
Meme García is a recent graduate of Seattle University where she received a double major with departmental honors in Performing Arts and Women and Gender Studies. Originally from El Salvador, Meme is thrilled to be a part of such a diverse, necessary, and impactful show. In addition to performing with eSe Teatro, she is currently working with Seattle Repertory Theatre to create a curriculum for community-oriented Shakespeare productions, as well as working on House of Sueños, a solo show that weaves together Shakespeare’s canon and her own memories and stories. She has previously worked with Strawberry Workshop Theatre, Book-It Repertory Theatre, Intiman, Seattle Shakespeare Company, upstart crow collective, The Merc Theatre, the Actor’s Shakespeare Project in Boston, and Freehold Theatre.  
Meme Garcia

Yolanda Suarez (Mama Grande, La Gorda)
This is Yolanda’s debut performance with eSe Teatro. She was last seen at Theater Schmeater as Miss Reyes in In Arabia We’d All Be Kings. Yolanda is the founder/creator of Rock Bottom, Seattle’s newest improv group, and company member of Comedysportz Seattle. When she is not performing, she can be found at her neighborhood karaoke bar screaming into a mic. Credits include fight choreography for Othello (Seattle Shakespeare Company), associate and movement direction for Mary’s Wedding (New Century Theatre Company), and choreography for A Christmas Carol (ACT) and Don Nordo Del Midwest (Café Nordo).

Yolanda Suarez

Sophie Franco (Maggie)
Sophie Franco is a Peruvian American theatre artist, mover and shaker based out of Seattle. This is her first appearance with eSe Teatro and ACTLab. Sophie is a 2015 alumni of the Cornish College of the Arts’ Original Works program. Some of her favorite roles include Emma from Betrayal and Masha from Three Sisters. You may have recently spotted her in the Seattle Fringe Festival and with Parley Playwright’s Group. Sophie is eager to continue storytelling in the Seattle community, and is immensely proud to present Bernie’s Apt. with this joyous, inspiring, and fiery ensemble of women.

Sophie Franco
Javonna Arriaga (Angie)
Javonna Arriaga graduated from the University of Washington in 2013 with her Bachelor of Arts and Sciences in Drama Performance. Javonna spent a lot of her time during her studies working with a theatre company devoted to helping displaced youth find their voice through the performance arts with Boundless Arts Performance Collective. Being Alumnae of care, this project is very important to her and she can’t emphasize enough how important foster care reform is. Previous performances include: The Passion as Told by Antigona Perez (Thriving Artists), Oedipus El Rey (eSe Teatro) by Luis Alfaro, Cradle Will Rock (Swimming Ophelia Productions) by Tim Robbins, The Hamletmachine (REBATE) by Heiner Müller, Alice Invents a Little Game and Alice Always Wins (Undergraduate Theatre Society) by Nick Flynn, and Caucasian Chalk Circle (University of Washington) by Bertolt Brecht.
Javonna Arriaga

Creative Team

Rose Cano (Playwright, Artistic Director & Founder of eSe Teatro)
Rose Cano is a graduate of Cornish College of the Arts. She is a founding member and the Artistic Director of eSe Teatro: Seattle Latinos Take Stage since 2010. She is a bilingual actor, playwright, director, and lyricist. Her latest play Don Quixote & Sancho Panza, Homeless in Seattle was recently produced by eSe Teatro in partnership with ACT in Seattle. Her adaptation of the children’s book La Mariposa by Francisco Jimenez was commissioned and produced by Book–It Repertory Theatre. This fall she appeared in the Pulitzer Prize-winning play Water By The Spoonful (Theatre22) by Quiara Alegria Hudes. Rose is also the founder of The AFrican ConeXion Project, uniting Latino and African American communities through theatre, music, and dance since 2001. Through this program she has produced two bilingual musicals in collaboration with composer Paul Thomas.

Rose Cano

Julie Beckman (Director)
A freelance director and adapter, Julie recently directed Rose Cano in Water by the Spoonful (Theatre22). Julie also directed Annapurna and Fifth of July (Theatre22), and will be collaborating with ACT and Theatre22 for upcoming Construction Zone readings this fall. She is pleased to be returning to The Bullitt Cabaret where she directed her own adaptation of Jane Eyre in 1999 with Book-It Repertory Theatre. Other directing work includes A Small Fire (Sound Theatre Company), her own adaptation of Edith Wharton’s The Bunner Sisters (Theatre Off Jackson), and The Bells, The Elephant Man and Fellow Passengers (Strawberry Theatre Workshop). She has also directed for Theater Schmeater, 14/48, Stone Soup Theatre, Our American Theatre, ACT’s Young Playwrights Festival, Seattle Public Theatre, SOAPfest, UW, and Cornish. She has an M.F.A. in directing from Northwestern University, and her work has been seen in Chicago, Washington, D.C, Atlanta, St. Louis, and Winnipeg.

Julie Beckman

Jenifer King (Stage Manager)
Jenifer King has been a professional stage manager in the Puget Sound area and New York City for over 20 years. Among others, she has been unseen at Taproot Theater Company, Seattle Opera, and The 5th Avenue Theatre, as well as the Lark Play Development Center and Public Theater in New York. Some of her favorite shows to work on have been The Man Who Was Thursday and Shadowlands (Taproot), and Crazy for You and The Crucible in NYC. Cheers to the Goddess Trio; and, as always, great love and thanks to beautiful wife Teresa. Be home soon. Really.

Lenore Bensinger (Dramaturg)
Lenore Bensinger is a playwright, popular local dramaturg, director, and producer. Her plays have been produced in Seattle, Tacoma, San Francisco, L.A. and St. Louis. Favorites include the musical, produced by LATW, Behind the Veil, Seed and Meanwhile, also a cosmological musical featuring young Einstein and co-created by a Roosevelt High School ensemble. Recent directing credits include On the Boards and Studio 4. As a producer Lenore originated the first Seattle Fringe Festival and NEW WAVES, a playwrights’ radio show. Currently commissioned to write a play about women spies in the Civil War.

Maria Enriquez (Assistant Director)
Maria is delighted to work with eSe Teatro for the first time! Previous directing credits includes Good Girls (University of North Carolina Chapel Hill PATP), Machinal (University of Pittsburgh), The Rite Of Spring (SITI Co. Summer Showcase), Lullaby (Teatro Luna), Surface Day (Chicago Dramatist), and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Cleveland Youth Theatre). Maria received her M.F.A. in Acting from Arizona State University, was an Artistic Associate with Teatro Luna, and is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Pittsburgh.

Marco Adiak Voli (Assistant Stage Manager, Actor)
Marco is thrilled to be working with eSe Teatro and ACT on this exciting new work. He is a current student at Cornish College of the Arts, graduating with the class of 2017. He has had the privilege of working with companies such as the Seattle Playwrights' Circle and the Blood Ensemble. School productions have included Baloo in The Junglebook, Juror #3 in Twelve Angry Jurors, and a variety of other original works. He lives in Belltown with his lovely girlfriend and life partner, Hannah, to whom he attributes all of his sanity.



Creative Team

Burton Yuen - Scenic Designer
Francisca Garcia - Costume Designer
Ahren Buhmann - Lighting Designer
Harry Todd Jamieson - Sound Designer
Ashley Banker - Props Manager
Gerard Menendez - Technical Director