After the death of her second husband, Bernarda Alba, an unpleasant and dominating woman, imposes a period of mourning on her household that is to last eight years, as has been traditional in her family. Bernarda has five daughters, aged between 20 and 39, whom she has shielded and controlled to an excessive degree and prohibited from any form of relationship. The mourning period further isolates the daughters, and tension mounts within the household.
After a mourning ritual at the family home, Angustias, the eldest daughter, enters, having not been present while the guests were there. Bernarda is angered, assuming she had been listening to the men\'s conversation on the patio.
Angustias inherited a large sum of money from the death of her father, Bernarda\'s first husband, while the other four sisters inherited much less from their father, Bernarda\'s second husband. Angustias\' wealth attracts a suitor, the young and attractive Pepe el Romano from the village. Passion and jealousy between the daughters increases, as they feel it is unfair that Angustias, the oldest and most sickly of the sisters, should receive both the majority of the money and freedom to marry, leaving the constraints of the house.
Adela, the youngest daughter, is stricken with sudden spirit and jubilation on the day of her father\'s funeral, defying Bernarda\'s orders to dress only in black and mourn; she refuses to take off her green dress, feeling free and young, but is suddenly horrified to discover the fact that Angustias will be marrying Pepe. She threatens to run into the streets in her green dress in her distress, but her sisters are able to stop her. Suddenly, Pepe el Romano is seen coming down the street. All the daughters rush to get a view of him, but Adela stays behind, that is until la Poncia (a servant in the household) hints to her that she could get the best view from her own bedroom window.
As Criada and Bernarda discuss matters of the daughters\' inheritance upstairs, Bernards spots Angustias wearing makeup. Appalled that she would defy her orders to stay in a state of mourning, she violently washes the makeup from her face. The daughters all enter in the commotion. Finally, Maria Josefa, the elderly mother of Bernarda, walks in, let free from her usual state of being locked away in her room. She says she wants to escape the house and get married. She also warns Bernarda that she is going to turn her daughters\' hearts to dust if they cannot be free. Bernarda retaliates by forcing her back to her room to be locked in.
It transpires that Adela has been conducting an illicit affair with Pepe el Romano and she becomes increasingly passionate, refusing to submit to her mother\'s will and arguing with her sisters, particularly Martirio, who is revealed to also be in love with Pepe.
The tension in the story comes to a head as the family confronts one another and Bernarda chases Pepe with a gun. A gunshot is heard from outside, implying that Pepe el Romano has been killed. Adela slips into another room while the family anticipates the outcome. As Martirio and Bernarda re-enter the home, Martirio states that Pepe el Romano got away with his life and Bernarda remarks that as a woman she cannot be blamed for not knowing how to aim. With Pepe el Romano dealt with, Bernarda turns her attention to calling out Adela, who has locked herself in a room. Bernarda and Poncia work at bringing down the door through force after being met with silence from Adela, and upon gaining entrance to the room, Poncia shrieks. Returning with her hands clasped about her neck, she warns the family to not enter the room--Adela has hanged herself. The closing lines of the play show Bernarda characteristically preoccupied with the family\'s reputation, as she calls for it to be made known that Adela died a virgin and that no one is to cry.
this torrent contains an italian version of the play televised by RAI (Radio Televisione Italiana ) in the mid-70\'s