Bill Army, Arnie Burton, Veanne Cox and More to Star in Benefit Reading of THE WOMAN HATER

The virtual reading will take place Monday, January 25th at 7:30PM EST.

By: Jan. 13, 2021
Bill Army, Arnie Burton, Veanne Cox and More to Star in Benefit Reading of THE WOMAN HATER

RED BULL THEATER today announced that its 2020-21 offerings will continue with a special event benefit reading of Frances Burney's The Woman Hater, directed by Everett Quinton. The reading will feature Bill Army (The Changeling - Red Bull Theater; The Band's Visit, Broadway, Atlantic Theater; Act One, Lincoln Center Theater); Arnie Burton (The Government Inspector, The Mystery of Irma Vep - Red Bull Theater; Peter and the Starcatcher; Machinal - Roundabout Theatre; A Free Man of Color, Lincoln Center Theater; The 39 Steps; The Temperamentals; Drama Desk nomination: Lewiston/Clarkston; Drama League nomination: The Mystery of Irma Vep); Veanne Cox (Drama Desk and Obie Awards for Sustained Excellence; Lortel Award nominations: Paradise Park, Spain; Drama Desk Award nomination: Last Easter; Tony Award nomination: Company; additional Broadway credits: An American in Paris, La Cage aux Folles, Caroline, or Change; A Free Man of Color, Lincoln Center Theater); Rebecca S'manga Frank (Coriolanus, Red Bull Theater; The Broken Record, FringeNYC; Romeo and Juliet, Wheelhouse Theater; Indecent, Oregon Shakespeare), Cherie Corinne Rice (The White Devil, Red Bull Theater); Matthew Saldivar (Bernhardt/Hamlet, Roundabout Theater; Junk, Lincoln Center, Saint Joan, Manhattan Theater Club, Peter and the Starcatcher, Act One, Lincoln Center; A Streetcar Named Desire; Honeymoon in Vegas, Grease; The Wedding Singer); Jenne Vath (Small Craft Warnings, As Is, Regeneration Theatre; Chemistry of Love, La Mama); and Nick Westrate (Loot, Red Bull Theater; Bernhardt/Hamlet, Roundabout Theater; Casa Valentina, Manhattan Theatre Club; 2012 Drama Desk Special Award; Drama Desk Award nomination: The Boys in the Band). This event reading will have visual design by David M. Barber and costume design by Sara Jean Tosetti.

Frances Burney's rarely seen 18th century proto-feminist satire is a hilarious story of broken engagements, excessive romanticism - and one massively misguided misogynist. With its unforgettable characters and delicious absurdity, The Woman Hater is a lost comic treat. As directed by Everett Quinton (Red Bull's The Mystery of Irma Vep and the Ridiculous Theatrical Company), it's sure to be a doubly sweet one.

The online reading will premiere LIVE on Monday January 25th at 7:30 PM EST. A recording of the livestream will be available until 7PM EST on Friday, January 29th - then it disappears. This event is an important benefit for Red Bull Theater, though tickets are Pay What You Can. Advance reservations are recommended.

"The discovery of Frances Burney's stage plays is a wonderful revelation, and it is a joy for us to be able to share what just might be her funniest play with audiences online -- The Woman Hater -- with a deliciously talented cast under the fabulous direction of Red Bull's long-time creative collaborator, Everett Quinton. Audiences are in for a special online treat with this witty and refreshingly delightful satire," said Artistic Director Berger.

On Thursday January 28th at 7:30 PM EST, there will be a free Bull Session, an interactive discussion of the play and its themes with director Everett Quinton, scholar Tara K. Menon, and members of the company. Registrants will receive a link to participate.

Scholar Tara K. Menon explains, "Frances Burney wrote the The Woman Hater between 1796 and 1801. Although the play was never performed in public, Burney drew a cast list of prominent actors from Drury Lane, including Sarah Siddons, the best known tragedienne of the day, as Eleonora. The play shares its title with the 1607 play by Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher, which also lampoons misogyny. Burney's play first came to light in 1945 when the Berg Collection of the New York Public Library acquired a collection of her writing. Her plays were published for the first time in 1995. The Woman Hater is best characterized as a sentimental comedy, but it contains elements of several other genres including gothic drama, farce and comedy of manners."

Frances Burney (1752-1840) was an English novelist, diarist and playwright. She was the third of six children of the musicologist Dr Charles Burney. Although she did not learn her alphabet until she was eight years old, she made up for this late start by reading voraciously and by the age of ten had begun writing in a variety of fictional genres. Published anonymously in 1778, Burney's first novel Evelina was an instant success. After her identity as the author was revealed, Burney was embraced by London's literary elite and won the admiration of many, including Richard Brinsley Sheridan, Samuel Johnson and David Garrick. Although her novel brought her fame and critical approval, Burney, an ardent lover of theatre and opera, yearned to write for the stage. Her first attempt, a satirical comedy about pseudo-intellectual women called The Witlings, was read to a private audience in 1779. Despite being appreciated by those in attendance, both her father and a close family friend, Samuel Crisp, were astonished by the sharpness of the satire. Also anxious that writing for the stage could ruin her reputation, the two men resolved that the play would not find a public audience. After this disappointment, Burney suspended her playwriting ambitions and focussed on writing novels and detailed journals-genres that were at the time more conventionally female. Her novels were social satires, headlined by strong female protagonists. They influenced many early nineteenth-century authors, including Jane Austen. Despite the genre, these works exhibit Burney's theatrical inclinations; the scenes are highly dramatic and the dialogue, which often reads like a script, reveals a talent for capturing dialect and the nuances of individual speakers. Burney tried her hand at drama again later in life, but of the eight plays she wrote only one, a blank verse tragedy called Edwy and Elgiva, was performed during her lifetime. Put on at Drury Lane in March of 1795, the play closed after a single night. Although Burney's fame continues to rest on her significant achievements as a novelist, several scholars maintain that, if not for the interference of her father and his friend, Burney could have also found great success as a writer for the stage.