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SMUT: AN UNSEEMLY STORY by Alan Bennett Comes to Z Below

SMUT: An Unseemly Story (The Greening of Mrs. Donaldson) by Alan Bennett Word for Word's first production of the 2017 Season, running May 13 - Jun 11 (previews May 10-12) with a press night on May 13 in the Z Below Theater in San Francisco. Alan Bennett is one of England's finest and wittiest writers who explores the uncomfortable and tragicomic gap between people's public appearance and their private desires in this tender and surprising story. Bennett is known for authoring a range of plays and screenplays including the plays: The History Boys (Tony 2006), Kafka's Dick, The Wind in The Willows,The Madness of George III and for film: The Lady in

The Van, A Private Function, Prick Up Your Ears, and The Madness of King George. A master storyteller, Bennett exposes a particularly English form of secrecy in this story of the unexpected in otherwise ordinary lives. On-stage Seating: For this production there is a special on-stage seating opportunity. Four patrons at each performance will have an intimate experience of the show, sitting amongst the actors as they perform.

In The Greening of Mrs. Donaldson, (first of the two novella-sized stories in Smut) a recently bereaved widow finds interesting ways to supplement her income by performing as a patient for medical students, and renting out her spare room. Quiet, middle-class, and middle-aged, Mrs. Donaldson soon discovers that she rather enjoys role-play at the hospital, and the irregular and startling entertainment provided by her tenants.

SMUT: An Unseemly Story (The Greening of Mrs. Donaldson) is directed by Amy Kossow and features Word for Word Charter Members Nancy Shelby (as Mrs. Donaldson), Patricia Silver and Delia MacDougall. Returning to Word for Word are Søren Oliver, Rosie Hallett, Robert Parsons, as well as actors Phil Wong and Andre Amarotico. This production is adapted to the stage by Word for Word Performing Arts Company from Smut: Stories by Alan Bennett, a Picador paperback (Farrar Strauss and Giroux Publishers).

Word for Word's First Production of the 2017 Season, SMUT: An Unseemly Story (The Greening of Mrs. Donaldson) By Alan Bennett. Directed by Amy KossoW. May 13 - Jun 11 (previews May 10- 12) . Z Below, Z Space's second venue, at 470 Florida St.. Performances; Wednesday-Thursday 7 pm, Friday-Saturday 8 pm, Sunday 3 pm

On-stage Seating: For this production there is a special on-stage seating opportunity. Four patrons at each performance will have an intimate experience of the show, sitting amongst the actors as they perform.

Ticket prices: Previews $20, $40-$60. with no additional fees. Tickets: 415-626-0453 or at www.zspace.org

"The Greening of Mrs Donaldson," is the first of the two novella-sized stories in Smut. Underneath the story's gentle demeanor stirs a plot that leads straight to a sort of deep radicalism."There is a joyous anarchism here-a tale of a late life liberation, told with a narrative tone both tender and comic towards its heroine-protagonist. Bennett brings out the nuances of English life in a fully clothed story, as Mrs Donaldson welcomes her radical adventure with a furious bout of tea-making, the boiling kettle a suggestive substitute for her own fulminating yet impossibly English sensibility." (JS Tennant, The Guardian, 3/12)

Alan Bennett (author) studied at Exeter College, Oxford. Bennett co-wrote and starred in Beyond the Fringe, a satirical review, along with Dudley Moore, Peter Cook and Jonathan Miller, at the Edinburgh Festival in 1960. Later the show travelled to the West End and to New York. After this, he started writing for the stage, and later, plays for television. His work focuses on the everyday and the mundane; on people with typically British characteristics and obsessions.

His first stage play was Forty Years On. Other well-known stage plays include People, The Habit of Art, Untold Stories, Kafka's Dick, The Wind in The Willows, and The Madness of George III. Bennett's phenomenally successful play The History Boys won the Tony for Best Play 2006, as well as the Olivier in the same year. Alan Bennett has also written for film, including The Lady in The Van, A Private Function, Prick Up Your Ears, and The Madness of King George, for which he was nominated for an Oscar for his screenplay adaptation.

Amy Kossow (director) was a founding member of the Z Space Studio, and is a Charter Member of Word for Word. With Word for Word, Amy has directed productions of stories by Sam Shepard, Siobhan Fallon, and Mavis Gallant, and readings of stories by Ron Rash, Elizabeth McCracken, Nathan Englander, Dan Chaon, Kay Boyle and Lawrence Block. Favorite WFW acting roles include Ottaline in The Bunchgrass Edge of the World, Rose in Three Blooms, Abby Borden in The Fall River Axe Murders, and Miss Van Vluyck in Xingu. Amy appeared as Sadie in the American premiere of Any Given Day and as Mary Prime Deity in the rolling world premiere of The Lily's Revenge, both at Magic Theatre. She also originated the roles of Hilda, Ma Humbert, and Miss Martin in Octavio Solis's adaptation of John Steinbeck's The Pastures of Heaven at CalShakes and at the Arena Stage 2011 New Play Convening.

WORD FOR WORD Performing Arts Company, a program of Z SPACE, is an ensemble whose mission is to tell great stories with elegant theatricality, staging performances of classic and contemporary fiction. Founded in 1993 by Susan Harloe and JoAnne Winter, Word for Word believes in the power of the short story to provide solace, compassion, and insight into our daily lives.

Z SPACE: Operating two venues in San Francisco's historic Mission District, a mainstage and a black box theater, Z Space hosts new works from a variety of performance disciplines year-round. Under Artistic Director Lisa Steindler, keystone initiatives include New Work, a development program that supports artists and ensembles from conception to realization of unique works, Word for Word, a resident theatre company that transforms works of literature verbatim to the stage, and Youth Arts, an arts education program promoting literacy and engaging students' creativity.

We foster opportunities around the nation for these works and we engage diverse audiences through direct interactions with the process, the projects, and the artists.

For more information about Z SPACE on the web and social media:

WEBSITE: https://www.zspace.org

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/zspaceSF/

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/zspaceSF

INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/zspace_theatre/


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