Word for Word Launches 2016 Today with Emma Donoghue and Colm Toibin

Word for Word opens the company's 2016 season with the work of two powerful contemporary writers, Emma Donoghue and Colm Tóibín today. The evening-length performance is entitled Stories by Emma Donoghue and Colm Tóibín: "Night Vision" by Emma Donoghue and "Silence" by Colm Tóibín. The production opens with a press night today, Saturday February 27 and runs through April 3 in San Francisco's Z Below Theater.

"Both Irish, and transplanted writers, Emma Donoghue and Colm Tóibín have taken historical moments and let the empathy of their imaginations and the curiosity of their research create stories of two unique women. Each of these writers has a film currently in release and based on their novels: Donoghue's Room, and Tóibín's Brooklyn. These two films show the writers' incredible empathy for the ravages of the heart and the amazing power of love over adversity," remarks Co-Artistic director Susan Harloe.

Both films have multiple 2016 Academy Award nominations. On February 25th Colm Tóibín will attend and participate in a post show discussion and book-signing (event now sold-out).

Culled from historic fact, both of the production's stories deal with writers and their adversities. "Night Vision," by Emma Donoghue, tells of young, blind Frances Browne who thrived on education when it was allowed her, and whose determination made her one of Ireland's most renowned poets. In "Silence", Tóibín recreates the story of the intense love-affair between Lady Gregory (founder of the Abbey Theater in Dublin) and the young poet Wilfrid Scawen Blunt. Their affair was secretly revealed in the love-poems she gave Blunt to publish as his own work. Lady Gregory's self-containment and reserved passion are impressively imagined: women's interior lives are one of Tóibín's great strengths.

"Night Vision" by Emma Donoghue (from her collection The Woman Who Gave Birth to Rabbits) is directed by Becca Wolff**. "Silence" by Colm Tóibín (from his collection The Empty Family), is directed by Jim Cave. The production features actors Stephanie Hunt*, Robert Sicular*, Rudy Guerrero*, Patricia Silver*, Richard Farrell* and Roselyn Hallett**. The production is realized with scenic design by Jacqueline Scott, lighting by Jeff Rowlings, costumes by Callie Floor and dialect by Lynne Soffer. *Member AEA; **Word for Word Associate Artist


Word for Word presents:
Stories by Emma Donoghue and Colm Tóibín:
"Night Vision" by Emma Donoghue and "Silence" by Colm Tóibín

February 27- April 3 (Previews Feb 24-25-26), Press Night Saturday February 27, 8pm
At: Z Below, Z Space's second venue, at 470 Florida St..
Performances; Wednesday-Thursday 7 pm, Friday-Saturday 8 pm, Sunday 3 pm
Ticket prices: $35- $55, previews $20
Tickets: 866.811.4111 or at www.zspace.org

Emma Donoghue (Writer) Born in Dublin in 1969, she now lives in Canada. She has written numerous short stories, as well as several award-winning novels, among them "Hood", "Slammerkin", "Frog Music", and "Room", which was released as a motion picture this past October. Donoghue is currently nominated for several awards for screenwriting for the 2015 film release, Room.

Colm Tóibín (Writer) was born in Ireland in 1955. He studied at University College Dublin and lived in Barcelona between 1975 and 1978. Out of this experience he produced two books: the novel "The South" (shortlisted for the Whitbread First Novel Award and winner of the Irish Times/ Aer Lingus First Fiction Award) and "Homage to Barcelona", both published in 1990. He is a prolific writer ("Norah Webster," "The Master," "The Blackwater Lightship", etc), and the recipient of numerous awards. His novel "Brooklyn" has just been made into a major film (currently nominated for several awards).

Becca Wolff (Director) is a cross-media director committed to developing new forms and attracting new audiences to the theater. She has developed new work with Annie Saunders of Wilderness (Antigone, SF Playhouse/Getty Villa) and The Kilbanes (Weightless, Encore/Z Space).Recent productions include The Kid Thing (NCTC), Hookman (Z Space), The Book Play and Status Update (both Center Rep) & Rocked by Women (Sarah Bush Dance Project). She is co-founder of Tilted Field Productions (LA/NYC/SF, Featured in Weekly's Best of LA issue, 2013). MFA Yale School of Drama, Directing

Jim Cave (Director) has directed and designed plays, dance, dance-theater, opera, new music theater, site-specific spectaculars, and even a flea circus for San Francisco's Exploratorium. He has collaborated with Darvag Iranian Theatre, Anna Halprin, Lisa Prosek, Carla Harryman, and Bob Ernst, and Word for Word, the latter for the past 20 years. He has received numerous honors and BACC awards.

Susan Harloe (Founding Artistic Director, Word for Word) has appeared in many award-winning Word for Word performances as well as producing 23 years of Word for Word productions. She also produces Word for Word's annual tour to France.

JoAnne Winter (Founding Artistic Director, Word for Word) is a Bay Area actor and director, and has been involved in many Word for Word productions. She also manages Youth Arts, Word for Word's arts education program.

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.

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