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Eve Ensler, Diane Paulus and More Set for IN THE BODY OF THE WORLD Talkbacks at MTC

Eve Ensler, Diane Paulus and More Set for IN THE BODY OF THE WORLD Talkbacks at MTC

Lynne Meadow (Artistic Director) and Barry Grove (Executive Producer) have announced a post-performance Beyond the Stage talkback series for Manhattan Theatre Club's New York premiere of the American Repertory Theater production of In the Body of the World, written and performed by Tony Award winner Eve Ensler and directed by Tony Award winner Diane Paulus.

Ensler, whose The Vagina Monologues is an international sensation, comes to MTC with a powerful new play based on her critically acclaimed memoir. While working with women suffering from the ravages of war in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ensler was stunned by a life-threatening diagnosis. Told with her signature brand of humor, Ensler's personal journey uncovers surprising connections between her body and the earth and how illness can be both transformative and transcendent. Directing this bold, unflinching and inspiring piece is Tony Award winner Diane Paulus (Waitress, Pippin).

Over the production's initial 10-week run, 21 post-show discussions will be led by a variety of acclaimed artists, activists, medical professionals and scholars. Following the performance, audience members will be invited to come on stage and experience firsthand the unique set that designer Myung Hee Cho has created for the production at New York City Center - Stage I. They will then be invited to sit onstage and engage in an intimate conversation with the special guest speaker and a moderator. These discussions will focus on the special guest's experience in his or her own field, through the lens of Eve's powerful, personal story.

In the Body of the World begins previews January 16, 2018 ahead of a February 6, 2018 opening night at MTC at New York City Center - Stage I (131 West 55th Street).

Beyond the Stage talkbacks will be held on the following dates (schedule is subject to change):

Thursday, January 18 following the 8PM performance

o Featuring Myung Hee Cho (Scenic & costume designer for In the Body of the World)

Tuesday, January 23 following the 7PM performance

o Featuring Diane Paulus (Director of In the Body of the World)

Saturday, January 27 following the 2PM performance

o Featuring Valisia LeKae (Ovarian cancer survivor and "Diana Ross" in Motown the Musical on Broadway)

Tuesday, January 30 following the 7PM performance

o Featuring Jill Johnson (Movement for In the Body of the World)

Saturday, February 3 following the 2PM performance

Featuring Tony Montenieri (Producer for Eve Ensler), James Lescene (Writer and Performer), Paula Allen (Documentary Photographer)

Saturday, February 10 following the 2PM performance

o Featuring Cherie Henderson (Cancer survivor, Columbia Narrative Medicine, Cancer Writing Workshop SKCC, former journalist) and Sandra Spannan (Cancer survivor; gilder, artist and restorer & the owner of see. Painting, Inc., a decorative painting/gilding company)

Tuesday, February 13 following the 7PM performance

o Featuring Christine "Mama C" Schuler Deschryver (Director of City of Joy, V-Day Congo)

Thursday, February 15 following the 8PM performance

o Featuring Christine "Mama C" Schuler Deschryver (Director of City of Joy, V-Day Congo)

Friday, February 16 following the 8PM performance

o Featuring Christine "Mama C" Schuler Deschryver (Director of City of Joy, V-Day Congo)

Saturday, February 17 following the 2PM performance

o Featuring Christine "Mama C" Schuler Deschryver (Director of City of Joy, V-Day Congo)

Tuesday, February 20 following the 7PM performance

o Featuring Anya Pearson (Actress, playwright, poet, producer and activist)

Thursday, February 22 following the 8PM performance

o Featuring Eve Ensler

Sunday, March 4 following the 2PM performance

o Featuring Dr. Sue Grand (Psychotherapist)

Thursday, March 8 following the 8PM performance

o Featuring Diane Paulus (Director of In the Body of the World)

Tuesday, March 20 following the 7PM performance

o Featuring Lilian Ajayi-Ore (Global Connection For Women, African diaspora specialist)

Additional talkbacks with special guests including Mayo Clinic doctors, Doctors Without Borders, Susan Celia Swan (V-Day Executive Director), Purva Panday Cullman (V-Day Senior Program Director), and Dr. Carla Boutin-Foster will be announced at a later date. Check back at with www.BodyoftheWorldplay.com to see who will speak on the following dates:

· Thursday, February 8 following the 8PM performance

· Tuesday, February 27 following the 7PM performance

· Saturday, March 3 following the 2PM performance

· Tuesday, March 13 following the 7PM performance

· Saturday, March 17 following the 2PM performance

MTC thanks Jan Warner, who is supporting the Beyond the Stage talkback series in memory of her husband, Arthur Warner.

The creative team for In the Body of the World includes Myung Hee Cho (scenic and costume design), Jen Schriever (lighting design), M.L. Dogg and Sam Lerner (sound design), Finn Ross (projections), and Jill Johnson (movement).

Additional support for In the Body of the World is provided by the Howard Gilman Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Manhattan Theatre Club, under the leadership of Artistic Director Lynne Meadow and Executive Producer Barry Grove, has become one of the country's most prominent and prestigious theatre companies. Over the past four and a half decades, MTC productions have earned numerous awards including six Pulitzer Prizes and 23 Tony Awards. MTC has a Broadway home at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre (261 West 47th Street) and two Off-Broadway theatres at New York City Center (131 West 55th Street). Renowned MTC productions include Prince of Broadway; Lillian Hellman's The Little Foxes; August Wilson's Jitney; Heisenberg by Simon Stephens; The Father by Florian Zeller with translation by Christopher Hampton; Fool For Love by Sam Shepard; Airline Highway by Lisa D'Amour; Casa Valentina by Harvey Fierstein; Outside Mullingar and Doubt by John Patrick Shanley;The Commons of Pensacola by Amanda Peet; Murder Ballad by Julia Jordan and Juliana Nash; Choir Boy by Tarell Alvin McCraney; The Assembled Parties by Richard Greenberg; Wit by Margaret Edson; Venus in Fur by David Ives; Good People and Rabbit Hole by David Lindsay-Abaire; The Whipping Man by Matthew Lopez; Time Stands Still by Donald Margulies; Ruined by Lynn Nottage; Proof by David Auburn; The Tale of the Allergist's Wife by Charles Busch; Love! Valour! Compassion! by Terrence McNally; The Piano Lesson by August Wilson; Crimes of the Heart by Beth Henley; and Ain't Misbehavin', the Fats Waller musical. For more information on MTC, visit www.ManhattanTheatreClub.com.

TALKBACK SERIES BIOGRAPHIES:

Myung Hee Cho is set and costume designer for theater, opera, dance and other special productions. She recently designed the set for Trojan Women, a new Korean opera at the National Theater of Korea; Trans Scripts at American Repertory Theater; the set and costumes for The Thieving Magpie at Glimmerglass Opera; The Marriage of Figaro at Washington National Opera and Golden Fairytale Fanfare, at Shanghai Disney Resort. Other selected credits are Emotional Creature by Eve Ensler at The Linney Theatre, Berkeley Repertory and The Market Theatre, Johannesburg; The Magic Flute at the Canadian Opera Company and The Good Person of Szechuan at the Landestheater Linz, Austria. She served as the art director for VDAY, 2000-04. She designed benefit productions for The Vagina Monologues at Madison Square Garden, Apollo Theatre and Masonic Center. She is professor of stage design at UCLA and a recipient of Princess Grace Awards.

Valisia LeKae. Lead role of "Diana Ross" in Motown The Musical! Valisia has won a 2013 Theatre World Award and was nominated for a 2013 Tony Award (Leading Actress in a Musical), Drama League Award and an Outer Critics Award. At the end of 2013, Valisia was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, just a few days after learning she had been nominated for a 2014 Grammy Award. Over the last couple of years, Valisia has used her voice to educate others about ovarian cancer. She has been the spokesperson for the NOCC and has been the guest speaker for cancer organizations and universities across the country.

Jill Johnson. Director of Dance, Founder/Artistic Director of the Harvard Dance Project, Senior Lecturer, at Harvard University. Graduate, Canada's National Ballet School; danced in over 50 tours on 5 continents; soloist, National Ballet of Canada; principal dancer in William Forsythe's Frankfurt Ballet; stages Forsythe's work worldwide, founding collaborator of The Movement Invention Project in New York; faculty and choreographed works for Princeton, Columbia, The New School, the Juilliard School and NYU; created 12 new dance works at Harvard since 2011; recent collaborations: Harvard Choruses, Boston Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Dries Van Noten/Louvre Musee des Arts Decoratif, Dance On Ensemble Berlin, Sadler's Wells Theater in London.

CHERIE HENDERSON is a doctoral student in communications at Columbia University and holds a master's degree from Columbia's Program in Narrative Medicine, where she was also a teaching associate and postgraduate fellow. Her research interests include societal stories of illness, disability and end of life, as well as the intersection of death and humor. She also initiated and led writing groups for people treated for cancer at Memorial Sloan Kettering. Previously, she was a staff editor and reporter at The Miami Herald and The Associated Press. She lives in New York with her husband; they have one son.

CHRISTINE "MAMA C" SCHULER DESCHRYVER has called Bukavu her home all her life. She oversees all aspects of V-Day's work on the ground in the DRC, including the City of Joy and coordinating campaign activities on the local, provincial, and national levels. She is an internationally renowned human rights activist who has worked as a teacher, an administrator for CARE CANADA, and, for 13 years, as an administrator for the German Technical Cooperation, where she oversaw a staff of over 100. She travels widely advocating for Congolese women's rights.

ANYA PEARSON is an accomplished actress, playwright, poet, producer, and activist. Anya is the inaugural winner of the prestigious $10,000 Voice is a Muscle Grant from the Corporeal Voices Foundation run by best-selling author Lidia Yuknavitch. Her choreopoem, Made to Dance in Burning Buildings, will be presented at Joe's Pub at The Public Theater on April 24, 2018. Made to Dance in Burning Buildings is a fusion of poetry, theatre, and violent and visceral contemporary dance poses the question: how do we heal from trauma? She is also producing a documentary, which follows her passionate quest to empower other survivors and dissects rape culture as a whole.

DR. CARLA BOUTIN-FOSTER graduated from Downstate Medical College and completed her residency training in Internal Medicine at the New York Presbyterian Hospital of Weill Cornell Medical Center. She received the inaugural Nanette Laitman Clinical Scholar in Public Health and Community Health award. She was the recipient of the Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Award from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. As a Haitian-born immigrant and physician she is dedicated to improving the health of the Caribbean community by tapping into the unique cultural richness and resources of the Caribbean communities and other immigrant communities.

DR. SUE GRAND is faculty and supervisor at the NYU Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis; faculty, the trauma program at the National Institute for Psychotherapies; faculty, the Mitchell Center for Relational Psychoanalysis; fellow at the Institute for Psychology and the Other. She is the author of The Reproduction of Evil: A Clinical and Cultural Perspective and The Hero in the Mirror: From Fear to Fortitude; co-editor of the Wounds of History and also of Trans-Generational Trauma and the Other; co-editor of the forthcoming books, De-Centering Relational Psychoanalysis and De-Idealizing Relational Psychoanalysis. She is an associate editor of the Psychoanalytic Dialogues and of Psychoanalysis Culture and Society. She is in private practice in NYC and in Teaneck, NJ.

LILIAN AJAYI-ORE is the Founder and Chief Executive Office of the Global Connections for Women Foundation (GC4W), an award-winning not-for-profit organization headquartered in New York City, with a reach of 3.5 million people worldwide, one of the leading international non-profits of the millennium in the areas of gender equality, women empowerment and youth empowerment. She is a current doctorate student at the University of Pennsylvania GSE. She has a degree in International Relations from Harvard University and served on the Permanent Mission of Nigeria to the United Nations. Lilian is currently a University Professor at NYU SPS.

Eve Ensler (Writer, Performer) is the Tony Award winning playwright, activist, performer and author of the theatrical Obie Award winning phenomenon, The Vagina Monologues, published in 48 languages and performed in over 140 countries. Ms. Ensler's plays include Floating Rhoda and the Glue Man, Extraordinary Measures, Necessary Targets, OPC, The Good Body, and Emotional Creature. Her books include Insecure At Last: A Political Memoir; New York Times bestseller I Am An Emotional Creature; and her latest critically acclaimed memoir In the Body of the World which she recently adapted, debuted and performed at the American Repertory Theater to rave reviews directed by Diane Paulus. Her play Fruit Trilogy was performed at the Women of the World Festival in London and The West Yorkshire Playhouse in March of 2016. Her film credits include an HBO film version of The Vagina Monologues (2002). She also produced the film What I Want My Words to Do to You, a documentary about the writing group she led at the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility for Women. The film premiered and won the Freedom of Expression Award at Sundance Film Festival and premiered nationally on PBS's "P.O.V." in December 2003. She recently co-directed the documentary short One Billion Rising which premiered in the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. Ms. Ensler is founder of V-Day, the almost 20-year-old global activist movement to end violence against women and girls which has raised over 100 million dollars. V-Day, led Ms. Ensler to also found One Billion Rising, the biggest global mass action to end violence against women in human history in over 200 countries. She writes for The Guardian, Time Magazine, and the International Herald Tribune. She was named one of Newsweek's "150 Women Who Changed the World" and The Guardian's "100 Most Influential Women."

Diane Paulus (Director) is the Terrie and Bradley Bloom Artistic Director of the American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.) at Harvard University, and was selected for the 2014 TIME 100, TIME Magazine's annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world. A.R.T.: EveEnsler's In the Body of the World, Waitress (currently on Broadway at the Brooks Atkinson Theater), Crossing (a new American opera with music and libretto by Matt Aucoin), Finding Neverland (currently on the first National tour), Witness Uganda, Pippin (Tony Award, Best Revival and Best Director), The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess (Tony Award, Best Revival, NAACP Award, Best Direction), Prometheus Bound, Death and the Powers: The Robots' Opera, Best of Both Worlds, Johnny Baseball, The Donkey Show. Her other recent work includes Cirque du Soleil's Amaluna, currently on tour in Europe, Invisible Thread at Second Stage, The Public Theater's Tony Award-winning revival of HAIR on Broadway and London's West End. As an opera director, her credits include The Magic Flute, the complete Monteverdi cycle, and the trio of Mozart-Da Ponte operas, among others. Diane is Professor of the Practice of Theater in Harvard University's English Department. She was selected as one of Variety's "Trailblazing Women in Entertainment for 2014" and Boston Magazine's "50 Thought Leaders of 2014."

THE AMERICAN REPERTORY THEATER (A.R.T.) at Harvard University is a leading force in the American theater, producing groundbreaking work in Cambridge and beyond. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Diane Paulus and Executive Director Diane Quinn, the A.R.T. seeks to expand the boundaries of theater by programming events that immerse audiences in transformative theatrical experiences. Throughout its history, the A.R.T. has been honored with many distinguished awards, including the Tony Award for Best New Play for All the Way (2014); consecutive Tony Awards for Best Revival of a Musical for Pippin (2013) and The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess(2012), both of which Paulus directed; a Pulitzer Prize; and the Tony Award for Best Regional Theater. As the professional theater on campus, the A.R.T. catalyzes discourse, interdisciplinary collaboration, and creative exchange among a wide range of academic departments, institutions, students, and faculty members, acting as a conduit between its community of artists and the university. A.R.T. plays a central role in Harvard's newly launched undergraduate Theater, Dance, and Media concentration, teaching courses in directing, dramatic literature, acting, voice, design, and dramaturgy.

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