Archive for the ‘performance’ Category

Orlando, the stage adaptation by Sarah Rule, will be produced by the Marvellous Machine Theatre Company production, which is part of The Camden Fringe, July 31 through Aug. 4. Performances of Virginia Woolf’s 1928 novel are at 7:30 p.m.
Location: Theatro Technis, 26 Crowndale Road, London NW1 1TT (Mornington Crescent tube)
Tickets: £15 (£13 concessions) + £2.50 fee: book online: Book online.

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Below is a comment from Elisa Kay Sparks and a link to her review of Woolf Works.

Dear All-
I’ve finished my review/ explication of Woolf Works, the new Wayne MacGregor ballet I was lucky enough to get to see in London.  All the time I was watching it, I was wishing all of you were in the audience with me; this is the best I could do to make that so.  At the end I’ve added links to a lot of the reviews which have photographs of the performance and to a series of videos that show the dancers in rehearsal as well as  conversations among the choreographers, dancers, and dramaturg.

Study Woolf: Review of Woolf Works, Royal Opera House, May 13, 2015.

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Woolf sightings appear online daily, and Blogging Woolf posts the briefest of them on Facebook. Again today we have gathered a few to share with readers here as well. Here they are:

  • Anne Fernald speaks about editing the Cambridge edition of Mrs. Dalloway at Widener University.Last Two Seconds
  • Read the notes at the end of the book of poetry The Last Two Seconds by St. Louis poet Mary Jo Bang, and you’ll discover that six of the poems borrow their words from Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway.
  • It’s no surprise when sci-fi writer Ursula Le Guin says she was inspired by Woolf’s Orlando.
  • Ann Hamilton and the SITI Company’s “the theater is a blank page,” on stage at the Wexner Center in Columbus, Ohio, April 23-26, uses text from To the Lighthouse.
  • Woolf’s A Writer’s Life was a lifesaver for this writer.
  • Woolf is cited in a Guardian article about the Vida study that says male writers continue to dominate literary criticism.

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Gloomsbury, a series on the BBC’s Radio 4, is a spoof of the Bloomsbury Group that follows the fortunes ofGloomsbury Vera Sackcloth-Vest, a writer, gardener and transvestite.

Its second season, which will air later this month, features the last performances of the late actor Roger Lloyd Pack who died nearly two months ago of pancreatic cancer. He plays the amorous gardener Gosling and long-suffering husband Lionel Fox.


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Sarah Ruhl’s adaptation of Orlando, Virginia Woolf’s gender-bending novel is on stage in two locations.orlando in va

  1. WSC Avant Bard, Thursday-Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 2 and 7:30 p.m., Sunday at 2 p.m., through March 23. The location is Theatre on the Run, 3700 S. Four Mile Run Dr., Arlington. 703-228-1850. Tickets are $25-$45. Read the reviews.
  2. Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre, Monday–Friday at 7:30 p.m., Wednesday & Thursday at 2:30 p.m., Saturdays at 3.30 p.m. and 8 p.m. through March 22. The theatre is located at St Ann’s Square, Manchester, M2 7DH. Standard tickets from £14.50. Read reviews in The Independent and The Guardian.


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The Shakespeare’s Sister Company is hosting weekly summer play readings from June 18 through Aug. 13 from 6-8 p.m., and the season kicks off June 18 with English playwright Beth Wright’s Vanessa and Virginia It is based on the eponymous novel written by New York Times best selling author Susan Sellers.

Wright’s play premiered in Europe and tells the story of Virginia Woolf and her sister Vanessa Bell. The evening will end with a few scenes from a play written by Shakespeare’s Sister’s, Kris Lundberg, about the love affair between famed artist, Dante Gabriel Rossetti and his muse and model, Elizabeth Siddal.

The readings will commence in a Lower East Side sultry venue, the DL, located at 95 Delancey St. (at Ludlow) in the second floor Casino.

For more information, contact Kris Lundberg at info@shakespearessister.org or visit the Shakespeare’s Sister Company website.

Formed in 2008, The Shakespeare’s Sister Company (SSC) is a not-for-profit theater organization supporting women in the arts. It is committed to producing established works and new plays by female authors, as well as by Sir William Shakespeare. Its mission is to address global change through the theater, including workshops with the community and literacy for youth.

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In some ways, Virginia Woolf’s novel Mrs. Dalloway is about voices. Voices from the past. Voices from the present. Voices of the novel’s main characters. Voices of those passing by. Voices of war and voices of peace. Sometimes the voices seem to drift. Sometimes they overlap. Sometimes they warm you. Sometimes they stop you cold.

So it is fitting that the stage adaptation of Septimus and Clarissa, running through Saturday at the Baruch Performing Arts Center in New York City, is the product of many voices as well.

The play’s the thing

I was in the front row at last Saturday’s show. And like others who have reviewed the play written by Ellen Mclaughlin, I found myself overwhelmed by the power of Woolf’s words, the way they transformed the stage, and the way the stage adaptation made them ever more luminous and lyrical.

The starkly simple set features a mottled blue floor and wall with the words “Fear no more.”

Like many readers of Woolf, I have read her 1925 stream of consciousness novel multiple times and have written about it as well. So I wouldn’t have thought that a staged adaptation of the novel could keep me spellbound, could make me wonder what might happen next, could bowl me over with its emotional power. But that’s exactly what this production did.

Others have already done an excellent job of reviewing Septimus and Clarissa, commenting on its superb acting; its excellent blend of music, ambient sound and dialogue; its relevant anti-war message; and the way it captures the spirit and meaning of Woolf’s novel.

So I will do something a bit different here. I will talk about how another group of voices — the many voices of the performers, directors, writer and crew — shaped what appeared on the Baruch stage this fall.

The after-show conversation

I learned a bit about the shaping process at an after-show conversation held on stage Saturday evening. It was headlined by best-selling author and Barnard professor of English Mary Gordon. She settled in on stage with Rachel Dickstein, director; McLaughlin, who wrote the script and played the title character; Tommy Schrider, who played Septimus; and Miriam Silverman, who played both Lucrezia and Elizabeth Dalloway.

Mary Gordon, Rachel Dickstein and Ellen Mclaughlin

The shaping process was a long one that involved multiple workshops, with each workshop adding or subtracting things from the production up until the play’s formal opening in September. And everyone involved played a part that went beyond the one acknowledged in the formal program.

The actors, for example, helped work out the choreographed movements they make while voicing Woolf’s lyrical words in song, choreography that changed as the play progressed.

They also collaborated on the set design. When Dickstein brought a batch of large rectangular frames to the set, thinking they might add something interesting to the production, the actors experimented with them until they worked. And in the final production, three of the frames are moved around on stage, almost like dancing partners, to represent a changing array of doors and windows, with people going out and through and around them.

The idea for the moveable staircase itself, the most prominent element in the set design, came from Dickstein and set designer Susan Zeeman Rogers, but the actors suggested ways of using it, as well as other set pieces and props. Actor Schrider, a Septimus of power and emotional force, did improvisations on another staircase before the large black metal staircase became a part of the final set design. The large black metal staircase is a focal point throughout the play, as it serves as a platform for Mrs. Dalloway as hostess and both a battlefield and suicide site for Septimus.

Miriam Silverman and Tommy Schrider among the rose petals that drift over guests during the party scene

The significance of a house within a house

Also on the simply set, stark stage throughout the play are three white wooden houses about four feet high. They are rolled around the set on wheels to symbolize Clarissa’s country home of Bruton as well as the homes she and other characters see along the streets of London.

But one of the three is special, and here is where director Dickstein gives voice to her child self. She recalled encountering an elaborately detailed furnished dollhouse as a young girl, one that she could never afford. It was a memory and an image that stuck in her mind, and she asked set designer Zeeman Rogers to create a more modest version of such a house — Clarissa’s London house — for the play.

The Clarissa Dalloway dollhouse

The interior of this lit-up house, complete with the novel’s characters as free-standing paper dolls, is revealed during the scene that recreates Clarissa’s party. The symbolism of the dollhouse opening up to reveal its interior to the audience just as Clarissa opens her home to her guests has a certain magical charm with subtle but significant meaning.

Links to some reviews of Septimus and Clarissa

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