A WOMAN ON STAGE Asks What It Means To Be Alive

A WOMAN ON STAGE Asks What It Means To Be Alive
Cheyanne Ballou (Left) with Ilana Lydia
in rehearsal for A Woman on Stage

Ilana Lydia's new play, A Woman on Stage asks some acute and fundamental questions:

*What does it mean to be alive?*What does it mean to be a fiction?
*Can the two conditions learn from one another?
*What does it mean to be a WOMAN on stage?

"Look at the history of female performers," says playwright/director, Ilana Lydia. "For so long, in the Western tradition, men played the women's roles. Now, although women are free to play female roles (though many in the cannon were written for men), there are far fewer meaty ones than for our male counterparts. My antagonist in the play asks how many times we need to see Steel Magnolias or The Female Odd Couple, really? But I have to agree with him. There are not the numbers of quality roles out there written by women for women that we so desperately need. Yes, occasionally a woman will be cast in a major male role like Hamlet, but that's not enough to make up the disparity," she said.

Largely an auteur director - creator of her own material - Lydia relishes the collaborative experience.

"I look forward to collaborating with different minds to make the impact of my work as a playwright even stronger," she explained. "I love directing, and value every single member of my creative team," Lydia said.

Lydia is a playwright and director, with many shows' experience acting and designing sound, as well. Over the years, she has co-founded seven theater collectives, published two novels (one under a pseudonym), and has taught theater at the university level. She directed the feminist piece The Waiting Room for Mesa Encore Theatre where she took Director of the Year for a Black Box Production. Last May, she became Associate Artistic Director for B3 (then Bare Black Box Productions) before become the Artistic Director in September. Lydia was the 2017 recipient of the New England Theatre Conference's Aurand Harris Memorial Playwriting Award for her children's play The Mulligrubs. She has kept busy directing as well as writing, most recently directing The Graduate for MET and Droppin' Johns, my love|my lumberjack, and True Believer and The Last Castrato for B3.

A Woman on Stage finds Rachel, a grad student in an archaic field of study, feeling that her annoying roommates are making less and less sense, when a message comes to her through a Man on TV that she isn't real, but a fictional character. Rachel resists grasping the truth, relying on soliloquies and round-robin scene changing to explore her theatrical state.

A Woman on Stage plays at the SIC Sense Theatre March 16-24, with shows Friday and Saturday nights at 8 and a special "pay what you can" student matinee at 2pm March 18th. All other seats are $15 at the door - enter promotional code WOSADVANCE before March 9th for $10 online admission.

The SIC Sense Theatre is located at 1902-9 E. McDowell Rd. Phoenix, Arizona 85006. For more information, visit their website.

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