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Women's Project and SITI Company Present Woolf's FRESHWATER

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Women's Project and SITI Company present Virginia Woolf's only play, FRESHWATER, directed by Anne Bogart. The play will run for just 34 performances, and previews Thursday, January 15, at 8:00pm. The show opens on Woolf's 128th birthday, which is Sunday, January 25, at 7:00pm.

Freshwater will perform Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 7:00p, Thursdays-Saturdays at 8:00p, Sundays at 3:00p & 7:00p. (No matinee on Sunday 1/25/09.) Freshwater performances will take place at 424 West 55th Street.

Women's Project and SITI Company are not afraid of Virginia Woolf or of her only play never seen on a professional stage in New York, the 1923 comedy Freshwater. Women's Project Producing Artistic Director Julie Crosby has wanted to produce Freshwater since first she discovered the comedy a dozen years ago while teaching at Columbia University.  Anne Bogart, with whom Dr. Crosby worked on Laurie Anderson’s Songs & Stories from Moby Dick ten years ago, was the first director she approached for this adventurous project. 

Presented by Women's Project and Anne Bogart's SITI Company,Freshwater is a theatrical escapade set in a Victorian garden on a summer evening.  Woolf, who wrote this play for friends and family, creates a deliberately witty and wacky universe peopled with a tribe of artists, friends and lovers in a playful mood.  Written in 1923, revised in 1935, Freshwater has never been produced professionally in the United States.

"The characters in Freshwater - Julia Cameron, Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Ellen Terry and the others - had tremendous significance for the Bloomsbury Group, of which Woolf was a founding member," said director Bogart.  "In this production, our challenge will be to channel the humor, intelligence, talent and giddiness of the origin Al Bloomsbury group and deliver it to a 2009 audience."

The Bloomsbury Group is in good company:  Freshwater also boasts appearances by a porpoise, a marmoset and Queen Victoria.
Virginia Woolf (1882 - 1941), a towering figure in English literature, began writing professionally in 1905.  Her first novel,The Voyage Out, was published in 1915, and was followed byNight and Day (1919); Jacob's Room (1922); Mrs. Dalloway(1925); To the Lighthouse (1927); Orlando: A Biography(1928); The Waves (1931); The Years (1937); andBetween the Acts (1941).  Woolf took her own life in 1941.

Anne Bogart, one of the most celebrated directors of our time, is the Artistic Director of SITI Company, which she founded with Japanese director Tadashi Suzuki in 1992.  A professor at Columbia University, she runs the Graduate Directing Program.  Recent works with SITI include Who Do You Think You Are, Radio Macbeth,Hotel Cassiopeia, Intimations for Saxophone, Death and the Ploughman, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, La Dispute,Score, bobrauschenbergamerica, Room, War of the Worlds, Cabin Pressure, War of the Worlds - The Radio Play, Alice’s Adventures, Culture of Desire,Bob, Going, Going, Gone, Small Lives/Big Dreams, The Medium, Noel Coward's Hayfever and Private Lives, August Strindberg’s Miss Julie, and Charles Mee's Orestes. She is the author of a book of essays entitled A Director Prepares: Seven Essays on Art and Theater and the co-author with Tina Landau of The Viewpoints Book: A Practical Guide to Viewpoints and Composition.  Her newest book of essays is And Then You Act: Making Art in an Unpredictable World.

Freshwater's designers are James Schuette (sets & costumes), Brian H. Scott (lights), and Darron L West (sound).  The cast of Freshwater (in alphabetical order) are Akiko Aizawa, Gian Murray Gianino (currently on Women's Project's stage in Aliens with Extraordinary Skills), Ellen Lauren, Kelly Maurer, Tom Nelis, Barney O'Hanlon and Stephen Duff Webber.

"Women's Project turns 31 this year, and we're young, healthy, and coming off the best season and a half in our history with three acclaimed productions in a row:  Sand and Crooked last season and Aliens with Extraordinary Skills on our stage now through October 26," said Dr. Crosby, now in her second full season as Producing Artistic Director of Women's Project.
Women's Project (www.WomensProject.org) produces theater created by women, providing a forum for women's perspectives on a wide variety of political, social, religious, and cultural topics. Founded in 1978 to address the conspicuous under-representation of women artists in the American theater, countless artists have achieved significant recognition through Women's Project productions, including Anne Bogart, Eve Ensler, Lynn Nottage, Maria Irene Fornes Suzan-Lori Parks, Leigh Silverman, Naomi Wallace, and Anna Deavere Smith, among the many. Now entering its fourth decade, Women's Project has staged over 600 productions and developmental projects, and published ten anthologies of plays by women. Women's Project mentors talented artists through its free, intensive Directors, Playwrights, and Producers Labs, and reaches over 2,000 students annually through Ten Centuries of Women Playwrights, an award-winning arts education program. In 1998, Women's Project purchased a historic off-Broadway venue on Manhattan's West 55th Street, making Women's Project the first and only women's theater company to hold the keys to its own stage.

SITI Company is an ensemble-based theater company led by Anne Bogart.  Its mission is to create bold new productions; to perform and tour these productions nationally and internationally; to train together consistently; to train theater professionals and students in an approach to acting and collaboration that forges unique and highly disciplined artists for the theater; and to create opportunities for artistic dialogue and cultural exchange.  Founded in 1992 by Anne Bogart and Tadashi Suzuki, SITI Company began as an endeavor to redefine and revitalize contemporary theater in the United States through an emphasis on international cultural exchange and collaboration. Originally envisioned as a summer institute in Saratoga Springs, New York, SITI grew into a permanent company based in New York City with a summer season in Saratoga.  Recently, SITI Company has been selected to take part inLeading for the Future: Innovative Support for Artistic Excellence, a groundbreaking new arts initiative created by Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF) and funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.  The company is recognized internationally as one of theater’s most important artistic collectives, creating groundbreaking work while training artists from around the world.

Box Office Info:
Women's Project member tickets ($15) are on sale now! Call 212.765.2105, click www.WomensProject.org, or visit the Women's Project box office at 424 West 55th Street.
Single tickets ($42) go on sale to the public November 3 at www.Telecharge.com or 212.239.6200.


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