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Posts Tagged ‘Virginia Woolf play’

A Knife in the Whale, a play writtenb by Liz Jardine-Smith and directed by Dominique Gerrard, explores the links between Virginia Woolf’s creativity and her mental state.

It will be on stage for one night only, May 31, at Compass Theatre, Glebe Avenue, Ickenham, London. It is part of Hillingdon Artsweek 2013. Additional performances may be added later, according to the author.

AKITW Eflyer 3

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Susan Sellers, author of the novel Vanessa and Virginia, is spreading the news via Facebook that the Moving Stories Theatrevanessa & virginia play production of the eponymous play based on her novel is sold-out for its current three-week run.

Written by Dr. Elizabeth Wright, the play is on stage at Riverside Studios, Hammersmith, London, through April 14.

Read more about it — and Susan Sellers:

A screen shot of Susan Sellers' Facebook post about "Vanessa and Virginia"

A screen shot of Susan Sellers’ Facebook post about “Vanessa and Virginia”

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The Elite Theatre Company will present the world premiere of Arthur Kraft’s  drama “Goat,” about what might have happened if a psychologist had prevented writer  Virginia Woolf from committing suicide in 1941.

Performances are at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturday and 2  p.m. Sundays, fronm April 22 through May 29 at the Petit Playhouse, Heritage Square, Oxnard, Calif.

Tickets are $17 for adults and $15 for seniors and students. For reservations, call 805-483-5118.

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Editor’s Note: Patricia Laurence, Woolf scholar and professor of English at Brooklyn College, the City University of New York, attended the March 16 performance of Room and wrote this review.

Lauren "projecting a stillness of mind"

Imagine a string of pearls–“moments of being”–from Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own and A Sketch of the Past strung together in a dramatic adaptation. This is the experience of attending Room, an admirable production mounted by the New York Women’s Project, under the direction of Ann Bogart, and adapted from Woolf’s works by Jocelyn Clarke.

These “moments” are a part of Woolf’s philosophy that a great part of our everyday life is lived as “non-being,” or what she calls the “cotton wool” of ordinary experience. But “one’s life is not confined to one’s body and what one says and does,” asserts Woolf, and behind “the cotton wool” of the every day is a hidden pattern. This pattern is revealed in exceptional and infrequent “illuminations, matches struck in the dark,” moments of being.

It is these moments that are revisited in Room a praiseworthy effort to bring Virginia Woolf’s words and advice about writing and reading to broader audiences–though the night I attended, the words were addressed  to, mostl,y a room of women.

Though imaginatively choreographed by Ellen Lauren and Ann Bogart—at times, almost a dance of the body to accompany the dance of Woolf’s mind–this production misses the mark. In transforming Woolf’s writing into a dramatic production, it ignores her philosophy and her own pattern of narration—that moments of being are embedded in the ordinary cotton wool of experience and, therefore, shine all the brighter when they occur.

In this production, moments and polemics combine and are too densely packed to have their effect. Where, one wonders, is the cotton wool, the ordinary stuff of life, to buffer and frame these moments in the experience of the theatergoer? This is not just Woolf’s philosophy but also a principle of drama.

The production begins with Virginia Woolf among us: “Good Evening,” says the cool voice of Ellen Lauren, as she makes her way down the aisle to the stage, tall and lean as Woolf. She asks us to “Imagine a room, your own….” and the stage for the next ninety minutes becomes that material and inner room of the mind so important to women and fiction. It is a room with a closed door that invites women to write.

Originally A Room of One’s Own was a lecture delivered to the women of Newnham and Girton Colleges, Cambridge University, in 1928– the year full equal voting rights would be extended to women in England—and then published in written form, 1929. Given the times, Woolf is always self-conscious about tone as she weaves her arguments against the exclusion of women from education, jobs and the material conditions necessary to the writing of fiction. Sensitive always to how the male audience would “hear” and be persuaded by her lecture—Woolf works by stealth and indirection in arguing and avoids stridency of tone. At times, in Bogart’s production this tone is violated, absorbing didacticism and assertiveness from another time and place.

Nevertheless, we listen attentively to the flight of Woolf’s mind, and her reflections on “what is meant by reality”; how the writer has “a shock-receiving capacity”; the “moments of being” of appreciating a flower “that is the whole” or experiencing revulsion at violence. And, importantly, in portraying Woolf in this production, how memoirs too often are failures because they say, “this is what happened” but “they leave out the person to whom things happened.” In finale, it is asserted that “you cannot write without a room of your own,” and money, a material condition that Woolf would have added to this production.

There were some wonderful moments in this production where Ellen Lauren captured the rapture and the waves in the synchrony of Woolf’s words and her body. What is intriguing about this production is that the actress, and Ann Bogart, the director and founder of the SITI theater company with Tadashi Suzuki, studied photographs of Woolf and created a lexicon of physical structures, what they term “a sort of alphabet.”

As the words of Woolf unfolded during the production, there was a physical score, so that at one moment, we observe Lauren bent sideward over a chair, magically not touching it, and projecting a stillness of mind. At another time, she dances the rapture of Woolf’s words. It is this–the choreography of words, mind and body that speaks to a new kind of acting and direction in Woolf productions (and, hopefully, productions that will involve astute Woolf critics and scholars in the process).

For those living in NYC, there are two more days–through Sunday, March 27—to see this production.

Blogging Woolf readers can save on tickets to Room

 

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The Women’s Project is offering Blogging Woolf readers big savings on tickets to Room, the one-woman show based on the writings of Virginia Woolf and starring SITI Company’s Ellen Lauren.

The acclaimed production is on stage at the Julia Miles Theater in New York City March 12-27.

The $60 tickets are discounted to $30 for Women’s Project Friends — and Blogging Woolf readers are included in that group — by following the directions below. You can order tickets three different ways.

  1. Go to http://www.broadwayoffers.com/go.aspx?MD=2001&MC=RMWPF30 and enter code RMWPF30.
  2. Call 212-947-8844 and mention code RMWPF30
  3. Visit the Julia Miles Theater box office at 424 W. 55th St., just west of 9th Avenue, and mention code RMWPF30.

Thanks to theater manager Monet Hurst-Mendoza for offering this generous discount.

For more details about the production, read our previous post, Woolf’s Room on stage in NY March 12-27.

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Virginia Woolf will be on stage in New York City next month.Julia Miles Theatre

The revival of Room, a production based on Woolf’s writing that the New York Times described in 2002 as “a theatrical representation of the writer’s mind, an abstraction painted with theater’s animated tools,” will be at the Julia Miles Theater for 16 performances March 12-27.

Harvested from a lifetime of Virginia Woolf’s writing, Room traces the movement of a creative spirit in exquisite crisis, an artist in a pressure cooker of articulation who seeks room to move, room to breathe, and room to imagine.

As the NYT put it, “one of the strengths of  Room is that it focuses neither on polemics nor personal tragedy but rather on gathering the many strands of Woolf’s formidable intellect into a messy, resonant coherence.”

The L.A. Times raved about the production, saying, “Ellen Lauren’s masterly economy of movement, combined with Anne Bogart’s unerring compositional sense, is breathtaking.”

The production is presented by the Women’s Project and SITI Company. It is directed by Anne Bogart, adapted by Jocelyn Clark and stars Ellen Lauren.

It will be on stage Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 7 p.m., Thursdays-Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 3  and 7:30 p.m.
Exceptions: Matinee only–no 7:30 show–on Sunday March 13.

Bogart and Lauren will be available for a post-performance discussion on  March 22 and March 23.

The Julia Miles Theater is located at 424 West 55th Street, just west of Ninth Avenue. Tickets, priced at $60-$75, are on sale at Telecharge.com or call 212-239-6200. A group rate of $25 per ticket is available for groups of more than nine.

Read the Playbill story.

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From Fernham’s way comes news of a play inspired by Virginia Woolf. Titled Among Roses and the Ash, it will be staged  in New York City Jan. 27-31.

According to the play’s Web site, the play is a “meditation on the power, beauty, and limitations of the English language, seen through the eyes of an author. It is described as incorporating “movement, sound and image to explore the work of a literary artist.”

Performances are at 8 p.m. Jan. 27 to 30 and at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Jan. 31 at the WOW Cafe Theater, 59-61 E. Fourth St. 
on the fourth floor. Tickets are $10 at door, or online at fabnyc.org.

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