Meryl Streep, superstar of stage and screen, will star with Angelica Huston,Sam Waterston, Cherry Jones, and others, in a staged reading of Necessary Targets, a new play by Eve Ensler, at Broadway's Helen Hayes Theater Oct. 21.
The reading is presented by The Women's Commission for Refugee Women and Children in association with the International Rescue Committee, to benefit women from Bosnia-Herzegovina and around the world.
Necessary Targets is an autobiographical play about an Upper East Side female pyschotherapist (portrayed by Streep) who travels to Bosnia to work with rape victims after the war. Targets explores the objectification of war victims, and playwright Ensler explains, "In the process of 'saving' them [the therapist] winds up being saved herself."
Read Playbill On-Line's interview with Ensler in Feature Stories.
Sam Waterston, last on Broadway in Linclon Center's production of Abe Lincoln in Illinois agreed to co-star in the small role of the psychotherapist's husband. Eve Ensler was recently hired as the head writer for Kathy Nijimy's (The Kathy and Mo Show) new TV show for NBC. Her playsFloating Rhoda and the Glue Man and Extraordinary Measures both enjoyed healthy runs off-Broadway in 1995. Her play The Depot was directed by Joanne Woodward at Williamstown, and subsequently developed as a film at Sundance Film Institute starring Woodward.
Ensler recently returned from her own trip to Bosnia-Herzogovina. She travels around the country playwrighting, screenwriting, directing and performing, while maintaining a high involvement with the Women's Commission.
In December of 1995, Ensler's Vagina Monologues was performed as a benefit for the Croatian Center for Bosnian Woman War Victims. The Vagina Monologues will again be performed by Ensler, off-Broadway at HERE, from October 3 through November 10.
According to Mark Klein, Ensler's theatre representative at 3 Arts Entertainment Management Company, Streep was sought out with the intention of making the benefit as high profile as possible, for maximum financial support. Through a series of connections, Streep was approached with the material and agreed to do the project without going through any agents.
Streep,who has remained shy of the stage for many years, recently played the lead in the workshop of Wendy Wasserstein's new play, An American Daughter at Seattle Rep, although she has declined to play the lead in Daughter's Broadway premiere.
Klein stated, "We are really excited about [the reading] and expect it to be picked up by someone really great."
The Women's Commission for Refugee Women and Children, founded by actress and director Liv Ullmann, consists of professional women forming an advocacy and education group that works on behalf of refugee and displaced women and children.
Invitations have been distributed, with limited seating available to the public. Tickets for the reading will be $100, and $300 will cover the reading and reception.
For more information, please contact the Women's Commission at (212) 551-3088.