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More Panels Set for Beauty on the Vine Initative Program


Epic Theatre Center has announced additional programming and participants for their "Beyond Beauty Initiative."

According to press notes, the series "seeks to bring together women of diverse backgrounds to share experiences and creatively explore how individual definitions of beauty, power and success impact society as a whole.  Through this effort, sponsored in part by Lancôme, Epic provides young women (and men) an opportunity to interact with potential role models through in-school residencies, workshops and post-show 'Epic Forum Discussions.'" 

"Epic Forum Discussions" have and will continue to follow almost every performance of Beauty On The Vine.  They include on-stage panels that are comprised of members of the cast and creative team along with special guest speakers.  Curated by The Beyond Beauty Initiative Committee, "discussions range from the neuroscience of recognition, feminism in the MySpace era, perspectives on same-sex education, the growth of cosmetic surgery, women in politics, the power of right-wing radio and more."

A listing of upcoming events follows:

Following May 9's performance: The Model Identity Forum.  Guest speakers include models Irina Pantaeva, Birgitte Jensen and Maria Tornberg. 

Following May 11's performance: Guest Speakers Julia Foulkes (Associate Professor of History at the New School, the book Modern Bodies: Dance and American Modernism from Martha Graham to Alvin Ailey), Terri Gordon (Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature at the New School, Off-Broadway translation of Jean Genet's Elle) and Lisa Rubin (New School faculty member).  

Following May 16's performance: Forum on Same-Sex Education with Jill Ker Conway (best-selling memoir The Road from Coorain, first woman president of Smith College, Visiting Scholar and Professor in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's program in Science, Technology and Society), Heather Allison (Associate Director of Special Gifts at Columbia Business School), Karen B. Marcovici (Financial Advisor) and actress and designer Jordin Ruderman ("Trading Spaces Boys v. Girls").   

Following May 18's performance: Forum on The Science of Recognition and Identity with Nim Tottenham from Cornell Medical School.

Following May 19's evening performance:  Feminism in the MySpace Era Forum with Lisa Ades (documentary filmmaker, PBS' Miss America, director/producer of Chasing the Crown, Love Files, In the Company of Women, etc., producer and co-director with Ric Burns of New York) and Joyce Avrech Berkman (Professor of History and Women's Studies at University of Massachusetts, the book The Healing Imagination of Olive Schreiner: Beyond South African Colonialism and Contemplating Edith Stein).

Following May 20's matinee: Motherhood & Identity Panel with special guest Susan Shilladay, screenwriter of "thirtysomething."

Following May 24's performance: Women & Public Policy Forum introduced by Katherine Oliver, Commissioner, Mayor¹s Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting.  Panelists include Elizabeth Lonigro, Special Advisor to the First Deputy Mayor and/or former Executive Director, NYC Commission on Women¹s Issues, Nazli Parvizi, Executive Director, Mayor's Volunteer Center and Wendy Kohler, Executive Director for Curriculum and Program Development (K-12) at the Amherst-Pelham, MA Regional School District.

Following May 26's matinee: Courtney E. Martin, author of Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters: The Frightening New Normalcy of Hating Your Body (Free Press) will be joined by Deborah Siegel, PhD (upcoming book Sisterhood Interrupted: From Radical Women to Grrls Gone Wild) and organizer and playwright Daniel May.  

Following May 27's matinee:  Beauty Industry Panel with Didi Gluck, Beauty Editor/Deputy Editor of Shape Magazine.

Following May 29's performance: Women and Leadership Forum with Rosemary Sykes, VP of Talent Management, Lehman Brothers and Elizabeth Holder, filmmaker, Risk/Reward: Women on Wall Street.

"From mixed-race identities to extreme plastic surgery, Beauty On The Vine is a romantic fable about the power of the human face in Lindsay Lohan America.  When a young female star of right-wing radio is brutally murdered, her husband and father investigate the reasons behind the violence.  They discover a world where young women transform themselves to look like their idols and mothers lose their daughters to the illusion of popularity and power.  Beauty On The Vine is a journey through the looking glass into a disturbing Wonderland where appearances are always deceiving."

Beauty On The Vine, by Zak Berkman and directed by David Schweizer, opened on Wednesday, May 2, 2007 at the Clurman Theatre on Theatre Row (410 West 42nd Street) and runs through Sunday, June 3, 2007. 

The cast for Beauty On The Vine features Olivia Wilde, Helen Piper Coxe, Barbara Garrick, Howard Overshown, Jessica Richardson and Victor Slezak.  Tickets are $40.00 and are available through TicketCentral (212) 279-4200 or  The performance schedule varies.

For more information on Epic Theatre Center, please visit

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