Theatrum Mundi Productions presents A Reading of DAUGHTERS OF THE SEXUAL REVOLUTION
Throughout the entertainment industry, over the last month, the repeated question has reverberated: How can we change the paradigm and create more parity for women in the industry?
In response, Theatrum Mundi Productions is launching quarterly Women Producers Nights, inviting women theatrical producers and artistic directors to partake in an evening of networking and hearing commercially viable work by women theatre artists. Each evening will feature women and female-identifying theatre artists presented to women producers and artistic staff at theatres. The first of these evenings will launch Monday, November 13th at 5:30PM, at the Dramatists Guild Foundation hall at 356 West 40th Street, and will feature a starry reading of award- winning playwright Dana Leslie Goldstein's new play, "Daughters of the Sexual Revolution," helmed by on-the-rise director Kimberly Loren Eaton, who has been working on the development of the piece with Goldstein since March.
The star-filled cast includes Melissa Gilbert (The Dead 1904, The Miracle Worker, Little House on the Prairie) as Joyce Horowitz, alongside her real-life husband Emmy Award winner Timothy Busfield (The West Wing, thirtysomething) playing her husband, Ed; Sarah Steele (The Good Fight, Tony Award winning The Humans) as her daughter, Stacia; Vaishnavi Sharma (Mr. Robot, Bedlam's Sense & Sensibility) as her lover, Nina; Piter Marek (The Blacklist, Tony-nominated Disgraced on Broadway) as Nina's husband, Liam; and Ephraim Birney (The Americans, Gotham) as Stacia's boyfriend, Simon. Stage directions will be read by Stella Berg (Wild Banshee, The Tempest Ladies). Zija Brubaker Lubin-West stage manages.
Previously, "Daughters of Sexual Revolution" has been presented in a well-received showcase production at The Workshop Theater in 2014, with a different director and cast. "Daughters of the Sexual Revolution" was first developed as part of The Workshop Theater's play development process, including two readings and a workshop performance, prior to the showcase production. It has also had readings and presentations at the Ethical Culture Society (NYC), and the Players Club Theater (Swarthmore, PA). In 2016, the play was selected, out of hundreds, for development through the Emerging Playwrights Lab, a program of the Dennis and Victoria Ross Foundation (DVRF) and OHenry Productions, and went through a development process at the time. It was through that process that the playwright and current director connected. Continued creative development of the piece with director Kimberly Loren Eaton's company Theatrum Mundi Productions followed, during which time it was refined and expanded to a two-act structure. One of the monologues from the play was recently selected for inclusion in The Best Women's Stage Monologues of 2017 (Smith & Kraus). Now ready for production, the play is presented to industry at a Women Producers Night at the Dramatists Guild Foundation. The playwright and director are currently exploring options for a producer or producing entity for a full production of the play.
ABOUT THE PLAY
"Daughters of the Sexual Revolution" takes place in 1976. The country is commemorating the revolution. And three women are engaging in their own revolutionary activities. Joyce and Nina are two housewives living in Westchester. They are having an affair... with each other. When Joyce's daughter, Stacia, a college freshman who is discovering sex for the first time with her boyfriend Simon, surprises her parents by bringing him home for the weekend, Simon stumbles on Joyce and Nina in an intimate moment. Simon's realization of their affair has effects which ricochet through the two households, and set everyone aswim, forcing each character to confront truths and make ethical choices.
In 2017, it isn't that uncommon for a kid to have two moms. In 1976, it was unheard of. There's a generation of women who would have made different choices if they had been born a few decades later. And men who may or may not have understood their wives' distance. Or constant searching. Or unhappiness. What did it mean to be turning 40 in the 1970s? Or 30? Or 18? Different ages, different choices, different amounts of freedom. Sexually and otherwise.
Love. Sex. Betrayal. War and peace... between the sexes. The difference between right and wrong. These are timeless. Valium abuse. Burning your bra. The bicentennial. The Bionic Man. These are rooted in the 1970s. But in every era, compromises are made. The question is: Can you live with yourself afterward?
Against the backdrop of post-Nixon America, every character in "Daughters of the Sexual Revolution" must ultimately decide for themselves how to live an authentic life. The play probes how women grounded in different decades approached their sudden ability to express themselves through sexual liberation.
Playwright Dana Leslie Goldstein calls this her most personal play, inspired by her childhood in suburban New York. "It was a time and place," she says, "when coupling wasn't necessarily for life, and being in the closet just meant you were looking for your shoes." The play also grows out of her college experience at Wesleyan University in Connecticut, and the ethical questions she began to ask there. "In the suburbs in the 1970s, valium was everywhere. So was alcohol, infidelity, consciousness raising groups and unhappiness. There was a search going on. A search for more, whatever that meant, because the basic human needs were abundantly satisfied. But still there was emptiness. I thought I understood all this by the time I went to college. I understood almost nothing. But the most important thing I learned in school was to question - question everything, including my professors and my parents - and that in itself was revolutionary. Generations of women before me had learned just the opposite. And that was apparent in their lifestyle choices, choices that in some cases took decades to undo. My own mother changed her life at 40. She divorced, went back to school, changed careers and sexual orientation. But I can't help wondering if she had grown up when I did, would she have needed to change her life at all? She might have 'done it right' the first time. And I might never have been born."
ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT
Playwright 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, Henry Hoyns Poetry Fellowship, AWP Intro Award, an Academy of American Poets Prize and numerous development grants. Her work been seen at Cherry Lane, Culture Project, Julia Miles Theater, York, Theatre 80/St. Mark's, Theater for the New City, New Dramatists, Center Stage, BMI, Vineyard Playhouse, Pulse, Theater Row Theatre, Gene Frankel Theatre, The Barrow Group, Acorn Theatre, The Lark, Beckett Theatre, Neighborhood Playhouse, The Workshop Theater, Pacific Theatre (Vancouver), TischAsia (Singapore), NYMF, on Ellis and Liberty Islands, at the U.N. and on Equity TYA tours throughout the East Coast. Her musical LIBERTY (book & lyrics) has been seen off-Broadway and will reopen in 2018. Dana has been a lyricist at BMI and a member of the Playwrights Lab at Women's Project, NewShoe & DVRF. She is a member of The Workshop Theater and the Dramatists Guild. www.danalesliegoldstein.com
ABOUT THE DIRECTOR
Director Kimberly Loren Eaton focuses on the creative development of new work as a director. With her theatrical development and production company, Theatrum Mundi Productions, she also serves as a creative development consultant and producer. Select directing credits include: The Forgetting Curve (Boston Center for the Arts, Calderwood Pavillion, Wimberly mainstage), Ain't Far From Home (Playwrights Horizons Downtown), American Dream with David Morse, Tamara Tunie & Sarita Choudhury (Manhattan Theatre Club Studio Theatre). She was involved on the producing teams of Fun Home (Broadway- 5 Tony Awards incl. Best Play/ Nat'l Tour) & The Velocity of Autumn (Broadway), Freud's Last Session (Off-Broadway Alliance Award for Best Play), and Tonya & Nancy (NYMF). A decade teaching/coaching acting. Youngest ever Artistic & Managing Director Off-Broadway, The Marjorie S. Deane Little Theatre - run 5 years in profit, through the recession. Former Director of the Arts, YMCA of Greater NY. Recently appointed Director of New Works, Chain Theatre, helming Scout Theatre Lab. Will launch new theatre collective, The Tribe, as Artistic Director, in partnership with theatre artist Ali Kennedy Scott, in 2018. Additional directing works in development: The Forgetting Curve, the immersive Totems, Waiting, and Sammy's Bowery Follies. Current VP of Communication, League of Professional Theatre Women. NYMF Reading Committee, Julia's Reading Room Committee, Broadway Bound Theatre Festival Advisory Panel. Hofstra, London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts, CTI.
Timothy Busfield* (Ed) Broadway: Brighton Beach Memoirs, A Few Good Men. Off-Broadway: With Circle Repertory (Company Member 1981), Richard II, A Tale Told (Talley and Son), Marsha Norman's The Holdup, The First Annual Young Playwright's Festival. Regional: Actor's Theatre of Louisville 1979-1981 (Company Member), The Mark Taper Forum, The Long Wharf, Westport Country Playhouse. Founded The Fantasy Theatre and co-founded The B Street Theatre in Sacramento, California (31st season). Selected Films and TV (over 500 credits): Field of Dreams, Revenge of the Nerds, Quiz Show, Sneakers, Stripes, Little Big League, thirtysomething (Emmy Award), The West Wing, Designated Survivor, and Family Ties.
Melissa Gilbert* (Joyce) Professional theater credits: Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker, Laura in Glass Menagerie, Elma Duckworth in Bus Stop, Melissa Gardner in Love Letters, Rose White in A Shayna Maidel, Ma in Little House on the Prairie: The Musical, M'Lynn in Steel Magnolias, and Mrs Astorcott in If Only. TV and film credits include: Little House on the Prairie, The Miracle Worker, The Diary of Anne Frank, Sweet Justice, Secrets and Lies, and One Smart Fellow.
Sarah Steele* (Stacia) can currently be seen as Marissa Gold on The Good Fight. After working as a child actress, Sarah took a four year hiatus to attend Columbia University, earning a degree in English Literature. She has worked on many TV, film and theater projects since graduating in 2011. In 2014, she made her Broadway debut in The Country House, directed by Dan Sullivan. She was on Broadway last year in Stephen Karam's Tony Winner The Humans, directed by Joe Mantello. Other credits include: Off-Broadway: The Humans, Slowgirl, Russian Transport, All-American, Speech and Debate, The Netflix Plays, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. Regional: Not Waving (Williamstown Theater Festival) Film: Ask For Jane, Speech and Debate, Viena and the Fantomes, Permission, Adult Beginners, The Mend, The To-Do List, Please Give, Margaret, Spanglish, Last Kind Words, Man (short). TV: "Girls", "The Good Wife", "Nurse Jackie", "Blue Bloods", "Harry's Law", "Gossip Girl", "Law & Order".
Piter Marek* (Liam) Broadway: Disgraced, Cyrano De Bergerac. Select Off-Broadway and Regional: Public Theater, Shakespeare in the Park, Denver Center, Play Co. Clubbed Thumb. TV: The Blacklist, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Big Dogs, The Arrangement, GONE, Perception, Nikita, Ugly Betty, Pan Am, Mozart In The Jungle, The Mentalist, Time After Time, Blue Bloods, Castle, NCIS, NCIS LA, The Sopranos. The Conan O' Brien Show, Chappelle's Show, Stephen Colbert, The David Letterman Show. Piter enjoys writing, narrating, coaching fellow actors, and develops reality television. piter360.com
Vaishnavi Sharma* (Nina) New York credits: The Seagull and Sense and Sensibility (Bedlam Theater), Queen Of The Night (The Diamond Horseshoe), This Side Of Neverland (The Pearl Theatre), The Iliad (Lucille Lortel Theater), A Midsummer Night's Dream (Blessed Unrest/Interart Theater), Brainpeople, written and directed by Jose Rivera (New School For Drama Theater), Regional credits: The Death Of The Novel (San Jose Repertory Theater), Around The World In 80 Days (Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival). Film/TV: Mr. Robot (USA), The Leftovers (HBO). Originally from New Delhi India, Vaishnavi has an MFA from The New School for Drama.
Ephraim Birney (Simon) is so excited to be a part of Daughters of the Sexual Revolution. He has been spotted on the stage of other productions like The Public Theater's Good Person of Szechwan, and Bekah Brunstetter's Nothing is the End of the World (Except the End of the World). He can be seen in shows like The Americans and Gotham. He is currently producing a pilot for his own web series.
Stella Berg (Stage Directions) was born in NYC and raised in Istanbul, Turkey. She returned to the States to receive her BFA in Acting from Syracuse University. While at school, Stella co-founded the all-female Shakespeare ensemble, The Tempest Ladies, through which she produced and performed internationally and Off-Broadway for seven years. Following Tempest Ladies, Stella co-founded the production company, Wild Banshee Productions. As their flagship show, Wild Banshee will present Totems, a play based on the life and art of Canada's National Treasure, Emily Carr. Stella is thrilled that she will play Emily when the show goes into production next year.
Theatrum Mundi Productions is a commercial theatrical production company focusing on the creative development of new works. Directing, script development, dramaturgy, structural development, creative development consulting, and executive producing services for hire. Theatrum Mundi means "theatre of the world", or "all the world's a stage", and was written upon the heavens of Shakespeare's theatre. The company is interested in new works with commercial potential, which provide a fresh storytelling style or unique perspective, and which positively impact the world by reflecting what is in the zeitgeist, evoking the human experience and a full range of emotion.
The Dramatists Guild Foundation protects the future of the American Theater by nurturing the writers who create it. For over fifty years DGF has helped countless individuals with aid and educational opportunities.
Thanks to the generous support of Carol Hall and The Grisham Foundation, the Music Hall provides a baby grand piano, materials, and private space for writers to create and present their work completely free of charge.
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