DAUGHTERS OF THE SEXUAL REVOLUTION Set for WorkShop Theater, 9/18-10/11
In the 1970s, the sexual revolution had finally given women the freedom to fully explore their natures. How women of various ages reconciled this freedom with their personal ethics is the subject of Dana Leslie Goldstein's newest play, "Daughters of the Sexual Revolution," which will be presented September 18 to October 11 by the WorkShop Theater Company, 312 West 36th Street. Susanna Frazer directs.
Set in Westchester in 1976, the play swings back and forth between the households of two women in love. Joyce, 40, is having an affair with Judy, early 30's. Judy is married to a psychiatrist, Liam, who controls her with Valium. Joyce's understanding husband, Ed, 50's, is protective toward their daughter, Stacia, who is a first year college student. Stacia, a volatile and hotheaded girl, is discovering sex for the first time with Simon, a classmate from her college ethics class, and is bringing him home for vacation. There he will stumble upon the affair between Joyce and Judy, with effects that ricochet through both households.
The play probes how women grounded in different decades approached their sudden ability to express themselves through sexual liberation. Joyce came of age in the 50's, Judy came of age in the 60's and Stacia is coming of age in the 70's. Interestingly, women of the earlier two decades had to define themselves in relation to men, but women of the third one didn't. Joyce will ultimately deny her nature to protect her marriage. Judy will rebel to break free. Stacia's path will remain uncertain, but it begs the most provocative questions in the play. Secretive and manipulative, she is basically amoral; her ethics class, which requires much introspection, is driving her crazy. Issues from the class are slyly interwoven through the play, leading to deep questions, like how to be faithful to your values, your partner and yourself.
Ethical themes are also explored in some of Dana Leslie Goldstein's other plays. "Daughters of the Sexual Revolution" has a companion play entitled "Ethical Culture," which will have a developmental reading at WorkShop Theater September 28. That piece, set in a small liberal arts college in the 1970's, pits an award-winning Ethics professor against a student who seems to operate from no moral code at all. To reach her, he must rethink his past and his present, revealing a truth he has never admitted to anyone.
"Daughters of the Sexual Revolution" was developed as part of Workshop Theater Company's play development process, including two readings and a workshop performance last season.
Dana Leslie Goldstein has won the New England New Play Competition, Harold and Mimi Steinberg Playwriting Prize, Different Voices New Play Award, ACTF New Play Award, the Henry Hoyns Poetry Fellowship, AWP Intro Award and an Academy of American Poets Prize, as well as numerous development grants. Her plays and musicals have been seen at The Cherry Lane, Culture Project, Julia Miles Theater, The York Theatre Company, New Dramatists, The Barrow Group, Acorn Theatre, Lark Theater and WorkShop Theater Company, among others. Her musical "Liberty" was produced at the 1,700 seat Warner Theatre Center in Torrington, CT and will open Off-Broadway at Theatre 80 St. Marks this October. She is a member playwright of Workshop Theater, among others.
Director Susanna Frazer is Artistic Director of The Morningside Players, an AEA theatre company in Morningside Heights, where she recently directed the extended run of "All My Sons." For the WorkShop Theater Company, she has directed the musical "Life on the Mississippi," (NYIT nominated as Outstanding Production of a Musical). She has also directed for The Atlantic Theater Co. Conservatory and NYU's Tisch BFA program. She received her MFA in Theater (Joel Zwick Award for Direction) from Brooklyn College, where she was an adjunct acting professor. On Broadway, she co-starred in "The Nerd" and stood by for Cherry Jones in Tommy Tune's "Stepping Out." She has also acted prolifically Off-Broadway, in regional theaters, on TV and in films. She wrote an award-winning play, "Ellen Terry," and performed it around the U.S. (www.susannafrazer.com)
"Daughters of the Sexual Revolution" will be acted by Greg Oliver Bodine, Luke Hofmaier, Alyson Lange, Laurie Schroeder, Michael Selkirk and Christine Verleny. Set Design is by Jennifer Varbalow. Lighting design is by Dennis Parichy. Costume Design is by Annette Westerby. Sound Design is by Joe Marquet.
Photo by Gerry Goodstein