Rubicon Theatre Co Extends WOMEN BEYOND BORDERS; Plus New Rotating Casts
Rubicon Theatre of Ventura has announced a two-week extension of the company's World Premiere presentation of WOMEN BEYOND BORDERS, a funny, poignant and powerful new play about the shared experiences of women everywhere, inspired by the remarkable true journey of a small group of women artists who wanted to find a way to inspire change through creative expression.
"We hope the play provides both serious and humorous insights into relationships between grandmothers, mothers and daughters, sisters, and friends; birth, fertility, sex and the process of raising children; how women view their bodies; oppression and war; fairy tales, and dreams and myths, and even our obsession with shoes," says Producing Artistic Director Karyl Lynn Burns.
Presented in the style of Love, Loss and What I Woreand The Vagina Monologues, Rubicon's production of WOMEN BEYOND BORDERS features a rotating cast of five actors of different ages and backgrounds who will read the script from seated positions on high-backed stools.
For the week of May 20 through May 26, the cast includes Canadian actress Emmy Award-winner Susan Clark ("Babe," "Webster" and plays at Rubicon and Royal Manitoba Theatre Center); Kimiko Gelman (Off-Broadway and L.A. stages, "The Hunger Games I & II" "Rags to Riches" and "CSI: Miami); Zilah Mendoza (Lisa Loomer's Living Outand Luis Alfaro's Electricidad and numerous world premieres in New York and L.A., as well as dozens of television appearances); Ulka Simone Mohanty ("Needle in a Timestack" and "Nina's World"), and Jennifer Leigh Warren (Big River on Broadway and Rubicon's Lonesome Traveler Off-Broadway, as well as television and film).
For the final week of May 27 through June 2, the cast is as follows: Donna Simone Johnson (Noe: Element, Ugandan National Theatre/The Baby Dance: Mixed at Rubicon); actor, writer and NPR talk-show host Sandra Tsing Loh; Obie Award-winning actor Zilah Mendoza (Lisa Loomer's Living Out and Luis Alfaro's Electricidad and numerous world premieres in New York and L.A., as well as dozens of television appearances); Ulka Simone Mohanty ("Needle in a Timestack" and "Nina's World"; and Linda Purl (Broadway, Off-Broadway, recurring roles on "The Office," "Homeland" and Rubicon's A Streetcar Named Desire).
Others who have appeared during the run include Five-time Emmy nominee Meredith Baxter ("Family" and "Family Ties"); Obie, Lortel, and Audelco Award-Winner Saidah Arrika Ekulona (who originated the role of Mama Nadi in the Pulitzer Prize-winning play Ruinedand originated multiple roles on and Off-Broadway and abroad); Emmy Award-Winner Michael Learned ("The Waltons," "Nurse," Rubicon's Driving Miss Daisy); Golden Globe Award-winner Amanda McBroom (Rubicon's Other Desert Cities/Creator of the song "The Rose"); UCLA graduate and newcomer Joanne Nguyen in her Equity stage debut; and Tony Award-winner Lillias White (The Life/Felaon Broadway, the title role in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom at the Music Center, and the premiere of The Best is Yet to Come at Rubicon which transferred Off-Broadway, winning a Drama Desk Award)
The production of WOMEN BEYOND BORDERS is helmed by Rubicon Artistic Associate Jenny Sullivan, and written by Claire Bowman, Karyl Lynn Burns, Lauren Pattenand Beverly Ward, with additional stories by Stephanie Coltrinand Sandra Tsing Loh. The production includes extensive use of video projection (including a number of the boxes). The multi-media is co-created by Yee Eun Nam and Eunnym Cho, who are also co-creating the scenic design. The international, all-female design team also includes Azra King-Abadi as Lighting Designer.
WOMEN BEYOND BORDERS opened on Saturday, April 27 at 7:00 p.m., and continues through June 2, 2019. The extension runs Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at 8:00 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, with matinees at 2:00 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. An exhibit of the work of the non-profit Women Beyond Borders is on display at the museum of Ventura County through the end of June, and the museum is also hosting a public box-making event on Saturday, June 1 at 1:00 p.m. in the Pavilion in conjunction with the production. All performances of the play are at Rubicon Theatre Company, 1006 E. Main Street, Ventura, CA 93001. For tickets or information, go to www.rubicontheatre.orgor call (805) 667-2900.
More about Women Beyond Borders
Founded in 1991 by Lorraine Serena, Co-Founder Elaine Siff, and a group of women artists, Women Beyond Borders has become a global phenomenon. More than nine-hundred boxes have been contributed over time by accomplished, nationally or internationally known artists, as well as by women with no prior artistic experience; from Afghanistan to Zambia. Women Beyond Borders has grown from a grass-roots local initiative to a savvy international art project involving over 10,000 artists, coordinators and curators from 50 countries. The project has been exhibited in over 50 venues around the world, including the National Museum of Kenya, the Wifredo Lam Center-Havana, and Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Oaxaca.
Women Beyond Borders embraces the possibility that women are honored for their voices and visions, and that women support one another in this quest. The endeavor has become more than an exhibition, it has become a catalyst for dialogue and collaboration.
The myriad box creations have roamed the world, traveling from historic museums to a temple in Kathmandu, a 15th century villa in Umbria, a historic train car in Europe, and a hilltop museum in Japan. WBB has been accessible to thousands of viewers through these diverse venues where participating artists have gathered to meet, celebrate, and exchange ideas. Each exhibition was unique as coordinators reinvented the project along the way, inviting anthropologists and art historians to speak and poets to reflect.
Included are celebrated artists, homeless and nomadic women, entire school districts, widows of the genocide in Rwanda and over 6,000 children with disabilities worldwide. Other projects have involved men and boys, young women survivors of human trafficking in Vietnam, and girls' organizations in the U.S.
Inspired by the exhibition in Russia, a student in St. Petersburg declared, "WBB gives us the hope of being understood, of being able to break the chains our society has put upon us. The boxes open up the worlds and hearts of women and will help us to find strength in our future fight with our destiny." In Japan, artist Mika Ebata declared, "Now I have friends all over the world."
In the broadest sense, WBB is not only about the participants; it is about all women. The play gives voice to women's universal pleas for healing, justice, respect and liberation, as well as a reverence for home, the world and one another.
For more information about the non-profit organization Women Beyond Borders, go to www.womenbeyondborders.org