VIDEO: Playwright Emily Mann Talks GLORIA: A LIFE At American Repertory Theater
American Repertory Theater presents Gloria: A Life, presented in association with the McCarter Theatre Center and by special arrangement with Daryl Roth. Written by Tony Award nominee Emily Mann (Having Our Say, Still Life) and directed by Tony Award winner Paulus (Jagged Little Pill, The White Card), performances of the Off-Broadway hit begin Friday January 24, 2020 at the Loeb Drama Center in Cambridge, MA. The production opens officially on Thursday, January 30, 2020. Due to one week of added performances, it will now close Saturday, March 1, 2020.
Vulture calls Gloria: A Life, "unique, deeply moving...An acknowledgement and celebration of many lives, dozens of brilliant, tireless women whose years and years of work hold us all up."
History. Her story. Our story. This new play about Gloria Steinem and the women she has partnered with in a decades-long fight for equality is brought to life by a dynamic ensemble of performers. Fifty years after Gloria began raising her voice and championing those of others, her vision is as urgent as ever. Gloria's belief in talking circles as a catalyst for change offers us all a path forward. The first act is Gloria's story; the second is our own. Community Engagement Support and Production Sponsorship of Gloria: A Life is provided by Allison Johnson. Community Engagement Sponsorship is provided by Linda Henry. Education and engagement support is provided by Bank of America.
"For millennia, human beings have been sitting around campfires, telling and listening to each other's stories. Books and computer help us to learn, but only being together with all five senses allows us to empathize, to understand, and to act," says Steinem. "This is the magic of both a movement and a play."
"Throughout her work as an activist, Gloria has created talking circles-in her own words, 'spaces for people to tell their own stories and respond to one another,'" says Paulus. Inspired by this practice and by A.R.T.'s ongoing Act II discussion series, each performance of Gloria: A Life will culminate in a talking circle that invites the audience to reflect on the play, the women's movement, and the ongoing struggle for equality in our world today. Each talking circle will be initiated by a special guest-participants will be announced at a later date.
A.R.T.'s Act II series is designed to disrupt the role of the spectator as passive observer, inspire deeper engagement with the stories on our stages, and create impact in Greater Boston and our world. Past events have included conversations integrated into productions of The White Card, Notes From the Field: Doing Time in Education, and others; speaker series; gallery visits; moderated conversations; and more.
Gloria: A Life, written by Mann and directed by Paulus, premiered at the Daryl Roth Theatre on October 2, 2018, and played through March 31, 2019. Mann restaged the production this past fall to open her final season as McCarter Theatre Center's Artistic Director.