Director and stage manager Karen Carpenter already knew she would be helming the Eileen Atkins' new play, Vita & Virginia for San Diego's Globe Theatre. But now the former Yale School of Drama faculty member will also be stepping in to give the company's very busy artistic director Jack O'Brien a break. With rehearsals of her production on the Cassius Carter Stage—performances begin May 23—she becomes the Globe's second-in-command, taking on the day-to-day artistic director duties for O'Brien, lately spending much time in New York City with his stagings of The Full Monty and The Invention of Love.
Vita & Virginia, her current Globe project, was adapted into a two person play by Atkins from the personal letters of writers Virginia Woolf and Vita Sackville-West. The two, brought together in 1922, embarked on a passionate affair that lasted twenty years, ending only when Woolf committed suicide in 1941. A member of the Bloomsbury literary group, Woolf is remembered for her novels "Mrs. Dalloway," "To the Lighthouse" and "Orlando," which she based on Sackville-West and dedicated to her lover, as well as the pro-women's rights essay, "A Room of One's Own." One of the wealthiest women in England, Sackville-West was a prolific novelist, producing almost 50 books (" Heritage," "The Edwardians") and a weekly gardening column for The Observer.
Monique Fowler is Woolf with Christina Rouner as Sackville-West. Fowler often performs at the Globe; recent credits include Things We Do for Love, Pride's Crossing, The Way of the World and Romeo and Juliet. Rouner played in the Off-Broadway production of Three Tall Women, traveling with the Edward Albee play to Los Angeles, Washington, DC and Toronto.
Vita & Virginia opens May 26 for a run through July 1. Tickets are $25-$45. The Globe Theatres are located in Balboa Park. For reservations, call (619) 239 2255. The Globe Theatres are on the web at http://www.theglobetheatres.org.
— By Christine Ehren