Summer Reading Series
The Madwoman of Chaillot
by Jean Giraudoux
directed by Eric Bloom
September 30, 2017
Santa Monica Public Library - MLK Auditorium
THE STORY: The play is a kind of poetic and comic fable set in the twilight zone of the not-quite-true. At the Cafe Chez Francis, a group of promoters plot to tear up Paris in order to unearth the oil which a prospector believes he has located in the neighborhood. These grandiose plans come to the attention of The Madwoman of Chaillot who is ostensibly not normal in her mind but who is soon shown to be the very essence of practical worldly goodness and common sense. She sees through the crookedness of the prospector and insists that the world is being turned into an unhappy place by the thieves and those who are greedy for worldly goods and power. At a tea party attended by other "mad" women of Paris, she has brought together representatives of the despoilers of the earth and wreckers of its happiness, and has them tried and condemned to extermination. In a scene which mounts into the realms of high poetic comedy, she sends the culprits one by one, lured by the scent of oil and undreamed-of riches, into a bottomless pit which opens out of her cellar. The exodus of the wicked is accompanied by another and more beautiful miracle: Joy, justice and love return to the world again.
Rapture, Blister, BURN
by Gina Gionfriddo
directed by Jen Bloom
July 16, 2017
THE STORY: After grad school, Catherine and Gwen chose polar opposite paths. Catherine built a career as a rockstar academic, while Gwen built a home with her husband and children. Decades later, unfulfilled in polar opposite ways, each woman covets the other's life, commencing a dangerous game of musical chairs—the prize being Gwen's husband. With searing insight and trademark wit, this comedy is an unflinching look at gender politics in the wake of 20th-century feminist ideals.
The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window
by Lorraine Hansberry
directed by Tanya White
August 13, 2017
THE STORY: This is the probing, hilarious and provocative story of Sidney, a disenchanted Greenwich Village intellectual, his wife Iris, an aspiring actress, and their colorful circle of friends and relations. Set against the shenanigans of a stormy political campaign, the play follows its characters in their unorthodox quests for meaningful lives in an age of corruption, alienation and cynicism. With compassion, humor and poignancy, the author examines questions concerning the fragility of love, morality and ethics, interracial relationships, drugs, rebellion, conformity and especially withdrawal from or commitment to the world.
Performances to follow at Santa Monica Main Library - MLK Auditorium