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TheatreWorks Streams New Look At PANDORA, September 24-28


The new play investigates the Pandora's box myth.

TheatreWorks Streams New Look At PANDORA, September 24-28

TheatreWorks Silicon Valley will stream a benefit online workshop reading of Pandora, an intriguing new work by acclaimed playwright Laurel Ollstein. TheatreWorks's production of Ollstein's play They Promised Her the Moon, an inventive look at women's early efforts to join the space race that was a hit among audiences and critics, was abruptly closed in March when shelter-in-place orders went into effect.

In this new play, Ollstein investigates the Pandora's box myth, delving into the world-changing curiosity and hope resulting from one woman's fateful actions. This streamed performance features a stellar cast of actors assembled from across the country and was recorded over Zoom under the direction of TheatreWorks Artistic Associate and Director of New Works Giovanna Sardelli. Pandora will be offered via video streaming from 6pm (PDT), Thursday, September 24, 2020 until 6pm (PDT), Monday, September 28, 2020. An additional interview with actor Katy Sullivan, who plays the titular role and is an award-winning actress, producer, writer, athlete, and bilateral above knee amputee, will be available for viewing on September 18.

Viewers can sign up to receive a link to view Pandora at without charge, although donations are encouraged to support TheatreWorks Silicon Valley. For information the public may visit or call (650) 463-1960.

This reading is made possible by kind concessions from the Performers' Unions including Actors Equity Association, American Guild of Musical Artists, American Guild of Variety Artists, and SAG-AFTRA, through Theatre Authority, Inc., to whom TheatreWorks offers its appreciation for permitting the artists to appear. Pandora was commissioned by the Villa Theatre Lab at the Getty Villa. An exciting forum for the reinterpretation of classical theater, that workshop series focuses on new translations of Greek and Roman plays as well as contemporary works inspired by ancient literature.

Director Sardelli has assembled a stellar cast for this reading, led by Katy Sullivan as Pandora. Star of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Cost of Living (Manhattan Theatre Club and Williamstown Theatre Festival), Sullivan has been nominated for Drama League, Outer Critics Circle, Lucille Lortel, and Ovation Awards, and is a recipient of a Theatre World Award. Sullivan's TV credits include "Station 19," "My Name is Earl," "Last Man Standing," "Legit," and "NCIS: New Orleans." She is also a Paralympic track and field athlete, a four-times US Champion in 100m, and US record holder. Born a bi-lateral transfemoral amputee, missing both lower legs, she is also an in-demand public speaker on the topics of fighting for your dreams and making the things that help you stand out become the things that make you extraordinary.

Performing as Dr. Z/ Po, Scott Aiello has been seen in CBS's "The Good Fight" and "Blue Bloods," HBO's "Billions," TBS's "The Last O.G." and Netflix's "The Good Cop." Aiello has performed onstage at theatres including Trinity Repertory Company, Asolo Repertory Theatre, and in the Contemporary American Theater Festival, and his play Bernie and Mikey's Trip to the Moon received its Off-Broadway debut at 59E59. Mary Beth Fisher, featured as Hes, has appeared onstage at Playwrights Horizons, Manhattan Theatre Club, Roundabout Theatre Company, Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Court Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, and The Old Globe Theatre. Her TV and film credits include Saint Frances, "Sense8," "Chicago Justice," "Chicago Fire," "Without a Trace," and "Numb3rs."

Recently seen at TheatreWorks in Archduke and Peter and the Starcatcher, and in New Works Festival readings of Laugh, The Disappearing Man, and Born in East Berlin, Jeremy Kahn joins the cast as Eddie. Kahn has also performed at American Conservatory Theater, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Long Wharf Theatre, San Diego Repertory Theatre, Aurora Theatre Company, Marin Theatre Company, Center REPertory Company, Magic Theatre, and San Francisco Playhouse. Appearing as Dina/Professor, Katharine Lorraine has performed in New York's Sleep No More, Spiegelworld's We Are Here, Pipeline Theatre Company's The Gray Man, and The Bad Years by Kait Kerrigan and Brian Lowdermilk.

Carrie Paff, who will be playing Phro, has been seen at Theatre for a New Audience, 59E59 Theatre, American Conservatory Theater, Arizona Theatre Company, San Jose Repertory Theatre, Aurora Theatre Company, Center REPertory Company, Marin Theatre Company, and San Francisco Playhouse. Her voice can be heard in Pixar's Finding Dory, The Good Dinosaur, and Lamp Life. Stage directions will be read by Katherine Hamilton, recently seen onstage at Palo Alto Players and director of plays for the UCSB Zoom festival Alone Together.

Laurel Ollstein (Playwright) is an award-winning writer, director and teacher. Ollstein's plays include They Promised Her the Moon, seen onstage at TheatreWorks Silicon Valley in March 2020, as well as Esther's Moustache, Dorothy Parker is in the Bath, OPA! The Musical, Unhappily Married in Valencia, Anatomy of a Brain Injury, and her acclaimed one-woman-show Laughter, Hope, and a Sock in the Eye. She is a founding member of Tim Robbins's The Actors' Gang. She has written commissions for Virginia Avenue Project, New Jersey Repertory Company, Playwrights' Arena, and Clark Library, and she has developed plays with The Actors' Gang, Ensemble Studio Theater, The Barrow Group, Cornerstone Theater Company, Skylight Music Theatre, The Road Theatre Company, Miranda Theatre Company, and Playwrights' Center. Recognition of her works includes grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and California Arts Council, as well as Ovation, Garland, and LA Weekly Theater Awards.

Giovanna Sardelli's (TheatreWorks Artistic Associate and Director of New Works) many directing credits at TheatreWorks include the March 2020 Northern California Premiere of They Promised Her the Moon, as well as Pulitzer Prize finalist Rajiv Joseph's Archduke (2019), FINKS (2018), The Velocity of Autumn and Crimes of the Heart (2016), Joseph's The Lake Effect (2015), Somewhere by Matthew Lopez (2013), and the World Premiere of Joseph's The North Pool (2011). She is an award-winning director who has worked on numerous plays by Rajiv Joseph including the world premiere of Archduke (Mark Taper Forum) and Guards at the Taj (Geffen Playhouse; 2016 Ovation Award for Best Production of a Play) and the World Premiere of the Obie Award winning play Describe The Night (Alley Theatre, Atlantic Theater Company in NYC). She has directed world premieres of plays by Theresa Rebeck, Lynn Rosen, Joe Gilford, Jeff Augustine, Lauren Yee, Zayd Dohrn, Melissa Ross, Lila Rose Kaplan, Matthew Lopez, and Zoe Kazan among others. Sardelli is set to direct TheatreWorks's upcoming productions of It's A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play and Nan and the Lower Body in its 51st season.

Pandora will be streamed in the company's New Works from Home program, part of its TheatreWorks from Home initiative. A virtual stage for the Tony Award-winning company while its physical theatres remain dark, TheatreWorks from Home provides audiences access to new exclusive content. Among the other offerings are: Featured Works, streaming videos of new material and delightful throwbacks; We Are TheatreWorks spotlighting artists and behind-the-scenes staff members and supporters; TheatreWorks Unforgettables, featuring highlights of previous shows and interviews with the company's "unforgettable" artists; Learning from Home, an educational outlet providing digital access to the company's works for youth; Invest in Our Works, in which special events and other content are offered to supporters; Conversations on Craft, spotlighting designers, painters, craftspeople (props and costumes), directors, music directors, choreographers, dressers and more; and Fun From Home, with interactive games and challenges.

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