DEATH AND THE MAIDEN Kicks Off Rhubarb Theater Company's 2012-13 Season

August 8
11:18 PM 2012

DEATH AND THE MAIDEN Kicks Off Rhubarb Theater Company's 2012-13 Season

Ariel Dorfman's Death and The Maiden, starring Phil Brady, Trish Crist and Bakari King, will be presented by Nashville's Rhubarb Theater August 23-25 at Darkhorse Theatre-with a special encore performance as part of the 2012 First Night Honors on Friday, August 31, at Belmont's Black Box Theatre.

Dorfman, the acclaimed Chilean novelist, playwright, essayist, academic, and human rights activist, has been a U.S. citizen since 2004 and is a professor of literature and Latin American Studies at Duke University since 1985.

Rhubarb Theater Company offers Nashville audiences their production of Dorfman's most famous work. A former cultural adviser to Chilean president Salvador Allende, whe was forced to leave Chile in 1973 after the coup by General Pinochet that led to Allende's death.

"I'm constantly trying to figure out how you can be true to an experience which, in fact, very few people in the world would understand, such as having most of your friends disappear or be tortured, and at the same time finding a way of telling that story so other people in other places can read their own lives into that," Dorfman told BOOM magazine.

Long a fan of what she calls "ugly beauty," Trish Crist, artistic director of Rhubarb Theater Company, explains the choice of this play to open the company's 10th season: "I've been obsessed with this play since I saw it on Broadway 23 years ago-it was my first Broadway play and I literally sat on the very last row of the theater, on a discount ticket, of course."

Crist portrays Paulina in Rhubarb's Death and the Maiden.

"That production starred Glenn Close, Richard Dreyfuss, and Gene Hackman and while I don't remember any specifics of their production or performances, I still feel in my heart and gut the emotional and psychological impact of the experience. That's real theater."

Death and the Maiden is a three-person play that describes the encounter of a former torture victim with a man she believes tortured her many years earlier, plumbing the depths of all that psychologically and viscerally motivates devotion to a cause or person,response to human rights violations, self-doubt, self-trust, and revenge. It was made into a film in 1994 by Roman Polanski starring Sigourney Weaver and Ben Kingsley.

Rhubarb's production is directed by Heather Webber and features Brady and Crist as a loving husband and wife who've survived the unthinkable, and King as the stranger who enters their lives.

All tickets are $12. For reservations and information, call (615) 397-7820 or email There are three performances at The Darkhorse Theater located at 4610 Charlotte Avenue in Nashville: 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, August 23, Friday, August 24, and Saturday, August 25.

A special encore performance of Death and the Maiden will be presented at Belmont University's Black Box Theatre, located on Compton Avenue in behind the Troutt Theater on Belmont Boulevard is set for Friday, August 31. This final performance is open to the public as part of Nashville's First Night Honors festivities. This final performance offers a pay-what-you-can ticket price on August 31 and begins at 7:30 pm.


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Jeffrey Ellis Jeffrey Ellis is a Nashville-based writer, editor and critic, who's been covering the performing arts in Tennessee for more than 25 years. He is the recipient of the Tennessee Theatre Association's Distinguished Service Award for his coverage of theatre in the Volunteer State and was the founding editor/publisher of Stages, the Tennessee Onstage Monthly. He is a past fellow of the National Critics Institute at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center and is the founder/executive producer of The First Night Honors - the history of which can be traced to 1989 and the first presentation of The First Night Awards - which honor outstanding theater artisans from Tennessee in recognition of their lifetime achievements and also includes The First Night Star Awards and the Most Promising Actors recognition. Midwinter's First Night honors outstanding productions and performances throughout the state. An accomplished director, Ellis helmed productions of La Cage Aux Folles, The Last Night of Ballyhoo and An American Daughter, all in their Nashville premieres, as well as award-winning productions of Damn Yankees, Company, Gypsy and The Rocky Horror Show. Ellis was recognized by The Tennessean as best director of a musical for both Company and Rocky Horror. In 2015, he directed William Inge's Picnic for Circle Players and Jason Robert Brown's The Last Five Years for VWA Theatricals, with The Larry Keeton Theatre's production of Beth Henley's The Miss Firecracker Contest set for spring 2016.


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