THEY CALL ME ARETHUSA Set for 2014 Philadelphia Fringe Festival, 9/5-20

After a critically acclaimed run in the Piccolo Spoleto Festival in Charleston, SC, New York City-based theatre artists Colie McClellan and Mark Kennedy unite for the 2014 Philadelphia Fringe Festival with an expanded version of this "timely" and "emotionally effective" spoken-word-style, Southern folklore-infused, Greek myth-mixed powerhouse docudrama, exposing the devastation laid by intimate partner violence through the voices of modern women and their mythological sisters (Charleston Post & Courier).

They Call Me Arethusa runs September 5th-20th on select dates at Pig Iron School Studio One on 1417 N 2nd St. 55 mins. Tickets are $20. Visit for ticket information.

How do you know if you know a woman who's survived abuse? The answer is: You do. Arethusa guides you spoken-word-style through the stories of her Greek mythological sisters and the true testimonials of modern women. "O Brother Where Art Thou" performance poetry meets the docudrama power of "Fires in the Mirror."

In the wake of McClellan and Kennedy's first successful production, McClellan and Kennedy formed the theatre company Arethusa Speaks, which produces visceral original theatre works like They Call Me Arethusa and complementary community programming that raises awareness of the unseen prevalence of violence against women in the United States, especially dating and domestic violence.

In co-production with Stable Cable Lab Co., Arethusa Speaks produced a successful developmental reading of a new draft at Theatre Lab in Manhattan, NY, in July 2014 in preparation for the Philly Fringe.

The script was developed by McClellan, based on interviews that she conducted over several months with women who are survivors of intimate partner violence. Weaving in and out of these monologues based on true testimonials are poems that incorporate Greek myth and Southern folklore based on stories from McClellan's home town in coastal South Carolina.

The piece was successfully produced to critical acclaim in the 2014 Piccolo Spoleto Festival in Charleston, SC with McClellan as the performer and Kennedy directing, both co-producing. The producers also included a talk back/question and answer forum in conjunction with My Sister's House of Charleston, SC, the only domestic violence shelter serving a tri-county area of South Carolina: an area where 6,000 reports of domestic violence were filed last year. Literature was provided each night to audience members including resources such as My Sister's House and other women's groups in Charleston.

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