Theater J Announces ACTUALLY By Anna Ziegler
Theater J announces a production of Anna Ziegler's Actually, a provocative new play that explores the timely subject of sexual consent between young people. This hot-button issue is appearing in the news cycle with extraordinary frequency in stories about people at the highest levels of the political arena and about students on college campuses throughout the nation. Theater J is producing Actually at Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater from October 17 - November 18.
In the play, Tom, a black first-year Princeton student, and Amber, a Jewish first-year Princeton student, seem to be on the same page about where their relationship is heading, until suddenly they aren't. What begins as a casual hook up turns into a Title IX hearing in which both students have everything to lose. With keen perception, Ziegler goes far beyond the procedural, focusing on the nuances of the "he-said-she-said" dilemma. In the process, she offers a psychologically rich portrait of a generation, and explores the intersection between race and gender.
Theater J Artistic Director, Adam Immerwahr, believes that "at its center, Actually is about the failures of our current campus justice system to grapple with the challenging human truths of complex situations. This play is a powerful exploration of how our society as a whole succeeds or fails at understanding the muddied grayness that can exist when a situation is not simply black and white."
Actually is directed by Johanna Gruenhut, who responds to how the play "portrays young people who find themselves in grown-up situations without the tools to deal with them."
Theater J presents the Washington, DC debut of Actually, which has been produced at Manhattan Theatre Club and at The Geffen Playhouse, where it received the Los Angeles Ovation Award for Playwriting for an Original Play. The Los Angeles Times called the play "beautifully rendered and complex...destined to trigger discussion" and The Boston Globe called it a "riveting new drama... a portrait of a generation." Future productions of Actually are scheduled for Hartford, San Diego, and St. Paul, among others. Theater J has previously produced Ziegler's Photograph 51, which subsequently has been performed widely, including a West End production that starred Nicole Kidman.
Theater J's 2018-2019 season is taking place around town at four different DC venues while the historic Edlavitch DCJCC undergoes renovation. The rest of the season is:
Talley's Folly at GALA Hispanic Theatre, December 7 - 30, 2018
The Jewish Queen Lear at Georgetown University's Davis Performing Arts Center, in the Gonda Theatre, March 13 - April 7, 2019
Subscription ticket packages are available at Theaterj.org.