ArtsWest Presents Heather Hawkins in SHIRLEY VALENTINE, 1/23-2/16


Shirley Valentine is a witty and insightful story of a middle-aged working class Liverpool housewife who is transformed by a surprise holiday in the Greek islands. A Laurence Olivier Award winner for Best New Comedy in 1988 and Tony Award nominee for Best Play, the one-woman play stars Footlight Award winner Heather Hawkins. Shirley Valentine runs from January 23 - February 16, 2013 at ArtsWest Playhouse and Gallery in West Seattle.

Shirley's life, stagnant and in a rut, takes a rare turn when her best friend buys tickets for a trip to Greece and invites her along. Like Eat, Pray, Love, the trip takes the audience on a journey of self-discovery, soul-searching, love, and renewal. Inspiring and heartwarming without being syrupy, Shirley Valentine is a surprisingly powerful, memorable and authentic character and story.

Named recently among the "most influential postwar British plays" by the Victoria and Albert Museum, Shirley Valentine was written by Willy Russell, one of Britain's most successful modern playwrights. Russell is also author of Blood Brothers, which closed November 2012, as well as Educating Rita. Both Rita and Shirley have also been turned into very successful films. Russell's work has won wide acclaim as well as numerous stage and screen awards.

Heather Hawkins (Footlight Award Winner for As Bees in Honey Drown) stars in the title role. A long-time Seattle-based performer, Hawkins first appeared at ArtsWest in 2006 as Mrs. Johnstone in Willy Russell's musical Blood Brothers, directed by Christopher Zinovitch. She then followed that with the 2006 Footlight Award Winning performance as Alexa in As Bees in Honey Drown. Heather has also appeared in Measure for Pleasure, Bat Boy: The Musical, The Sweetest Swing in Baseball, and On the Verge at ArtsWest. Other Seattle credits include work at Seattle Public Theater: Mauritius, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, End Days, The Winter's Tale, and Betrayal. Seattle Shakespeare Company / Wooden O: Othello, The Merry Wives of Windsor, A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Julius Caesar. She has also graced the stages of Book-it Repertory Theatre, Taproot Theatre, the Village Theatre, ACT, Mirror Stage Company and Our American Theater.

"I love this play because Shirley is such a strong woman. In my mind she is the Fool in King Lear - wise, but because of her status no one listens to her, including herself," notes show director Christopher Zinovitch. "But the stories and wisdom she imparts speak to all of us, regardless of age or gender."

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