Signature Presents Reading of Kennedy's Madame Bovary, Feb. 20-21

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On February 20th at 7 PM and February 21st at 3 PM, Signature Theatre Company will hold an invitation-only reading of Adrienne Kennedy's new adaptation of the classic Gustave Flaubert novel Madame Bovary.

Jill Alexander, Tim Altmeyer, Michael Aronov, Ryan Patrick Bachand, Liz Canavan, Jessica Chastain, Timothy Doyle, Bob Lavelle, Chris McGarry, Joyce Lynn O'Connor, Felix Solis and Jerry Zellers will be featured in the reading, which will be directed by Estelle Parsons.

"Madame Bovary is the tragic, yet scintillating story of a woman who longed for a life she could never fully achieve. Emma Bovary is a woman who desires the illustrious and romantic world she has only read about in books or observed from afar. As this desire grows, Emma must seek to fulfill it, whatever the cost, in an ultimate quest to become the Madame Bovary of her wildest and most passionate dreams. Telling Emma's story through the eyes of her own daughter, Adrienne Kennedy brings a fresh and exciting approach to this classic novel," state Signature press notes.

Kennedy, who was Signature's playwright-in-residence from 1995-96, has influenced "generations of playwrights with her hauntingly fragmented lyrical dramas...frequently produced, read, and taught, they continue to hold a prominent place among the most exciting plays of the past 50 years." The winner of a Guggenheim Fellowship and the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award, among others, Kennedy has penned plays such as Funnyhouse of a Negro, The Alexander Plays...Suzanne in Stages, Sleep Deprivation Chamber and June and Jean in Concert.

Parsons, also a noted screen actress, recently directed Kennedy's Hitler's Addendum at the Actor's Studio, of which she is the current artistic director. She has appeared on Broadway in over two dozen productions. She earned Best Actress in a Play Tony nominations for 1968's The Seven Descents of Myrtle, 1971's Miss Reardon Drinks a Little and 1978's Miss Margarida's Way. She was nominated for Best Featured Actress in a Play for the 2002 revival of Mornings at Seven, and also starred in the Paper Mill Playhouse musical Harold and Maude. An Academy Award-winner for her performance in Bonnie and Clyde, she has collaborated with Al Pacino on King Oedipus and Salome, which was presented on Broadway as a star-studded reading. They will team up once more for a production of Strindberg's The Father.

Signature Theatre Company, now in its 15th season, is currently presenting The Trip to Bountiful through March 11th. Upcoming productions this season include John Guare's Landscape of the Body (starring Lili Tayor and Sherie Rene Scott) from March 28th through May 21st and three plays by August Wilson with their dates to be announced: Seven Guitars, Two Trains Running and King Hedley II.

The Madame Bovary reading is by invitation only. For more information on Signature Theatre Company, call
(212) 244-PLAY (7529) or visit www.signaturetheatre.org.

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