Kate Chopin's trail-blazing 1899 novella, "The Awakening," has inspired several stage plays, but Chiori Miyagawa's Awakeningwhich opened at Off-Off-Broadway’s P.S. 122 on Nov. 8, may be the first to feature Chopin herself as a character. The play ends its scheduled run Nov. 25.
Throughout the play, Chopin observes and comments on the dramatization of her tale about a frustrated 19th-century wife, Edna Pontellier. Edna is a woman of passions, urges which are thwarted by the limited lot of women in the 1800s. Attracted to two men not her husband — an ambitious young man and a well-known womanizer — she realizes that she will most likely go on longing for situations and emotions society does not allow her to entertain. While the above is being enacted, the Chopin character discusses the creation of the novel, her last work.
Miyagawa's work has been seen in NYC at HERE, New York Theatre Workshop and Soho Rep. Sonoko Kawahara directs.
Tickets are $15. P.S. 122 is located at 150 First Avenue. For more information, call (212) 477-5288.
--By Robert Simonson