Virago Theatre of San Francisco to Bring AROUSAL and THE LOVER to the Flea, Beg. 7/24

Virago Theatre Company of San Francisco's presents AROUSAL, George Pfirrmann's dark comedy paired with Harold Pinter's The Lover from July 24th through August 2 at The Flea Theater (41 White Street in Tribeca). Chloe Bronzan directs actors Laura Lundy Paine and Dan Fagan in this provocative pair of one acts travelling from their critically acclaimed engagements at San Francisco's Phoenix Theatre and the Theatre Asylum Lab in Los Angeles. The Lover was nominated for four Broadway World Award including Best Actress for Laura Lundy Paine and Chloe Bronzan for Best Director.

At the start of AROUSAL a Ukrainian prostitute waits for her next client as she plays a game of online scrabble, ostensibly to better learn the English language. The client, a 35 year old virgin, arrives and confides to her that he is afflicted with Asperger's syndrome, a mental disorder that doesn't allow him to connect with other people. Yet he finds himself drawn to this older, seemingly detached "professional" who soothes his anxiety with vodka and manages, sexually, to connect with him. Desperately lonely and in need of friendship, he returns the following day to discover that through his interest in her he has unknowingly tapped into her own sense of isolation and despair. Together in their alienation they begin to perceive they are not dissimilar.

The Lover revolves around a staid middle class English couple, Richard and Sarah, who spice up their comfortable suburban lives with what appears to be an open marriage. He accepts that his wife has a lover who pays her regular visits while he labors away each day at his office. The caveat comes when she questions him about his own fidelity and finds that his daily routine is occasionally interrupted by visits to a prostitute, a revelation that opens up Sarah's insecurity...or does it? When Sarah's lover, "Max" arrives the following day it is Richard who walks through the door, and the two of them begin a game of erotic role play that is at once funny and alarming.

George Pfirrmann's AROUSAL was a winner of "The Best of Fringe" award at the 2010 San Francisco Fringe Festival. A politically and socially conscious playwright, his latest play, Homegrown, deals with the radicalization of an American Muslim. Harold Pinter who died in 2008, was a Nobel Prize winning playwright, screenwriter, director and actor whose writing career spanned over 50 years. Other plays include The Birthday Party, The Homecoming and Betrayal.

Artistic Director of the Virago Theatre Company, Laura Lundy Paine, is a classically trained actress who's appeared regionally in A Midsummer Night's Dream and Measure for Measure. Other credits include a Virago production of Dream of a Common Language and Vampire Lesbians of Sodom. Los Angeles based actor Dan Fagan has played leads in Clybourne Park, and Sweet Bird of Youth. The cast also features S.F. based actorMichael Vega (Bent, Take Me Out).

AROUSAL & The Lover opens Thursday July 24th at The Flea Theater (41 White Street between Broadway & Church Streets-A/C/E, N/R/Q, 6 Trains to Canal, 1 Train to Franklin). Evening performances are continuous from Thursday July 24th thru Saturday August 2nd at 9:30PM (except Sunday 7/27) with Saturday matinees on July 26th and August 2nd at 1PM. Tickets are $15-$20-$30. Lowest priced tickets are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. For tickets go to or call (212) 352-3101. For further information go to and

Pictured: "AROUSAL," by George Pfirrmann. Laura Lundy-Paine and Dan Fagan. Photo by Luis A. Solorzano.

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