Same-Sex Unions in the U.K. Exposed, Explored in U.S. Premiere of Marriage Bed

News   Same-Sex Unions in the U.K. Exposed, Explored in U.S. Premiere of Marriage Bed The Marriage Bed, Nona Shepphard's London play about two women in love, will open in its American premiere Oct. 12 at the Sanford Meisner Theater in Manhattan.

Previews for the Off-Broadway run begin Oct. 6. Performances play to Nov. 19.

The play is a love story about Jennifer Shahar (Jeni) and Valerie Glenys Carr (Val) who have been living together for seven happy years when Great Britain passes a Parliamentary Bill legalizing same-sex Civil Unions guaranteeing equal treatment under the law.

With the disappearance of legal interference and the removal of all social obstacles, Val and Jeni must now face the monumental decision as to whether or not they should marry. Their decision is complicated by the fact that Jeni, an Israeli divorcee and corporate attorney, is firmly in the closet. Val is a London Underground station manager and former '60s activist.

The cast features the playwright (who also directs the production) and Tali Friedman (who is the producer).

The design team includes Marsha Roddy (scenery), Takis (lighting) and Andrew Dodge (sound). The production coordinator is Mell Wadle. The general manager is Michelin Hall for Theatre MaMa. The Marriage Bed opened at London's Drill Hall on May 26, 2006.

Nona Shepphard is a playwright and director who has many years of experience writing and directing plays in Britain and abroad. She has 40 commissioned plays to her credit. Her plays for young people, which have received several awards, have been seen in United States, Canada, Europe and Russia. She has worked regularly at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London since 1987. Her interest and passion for Shakespeare grew in the late 1990s when she began the Shakespeare in Performance course at RADA with students from the Tisch School of the Arts in New York City; she still runs this course at RADA together with the Acting Shakespeare course for professional actors.

Tali Friedman is the founder/producer of the Acting Shakespeare Company with artistic director Nona Shepphard, where she both produces and performs in plays such as Measure for Measure (Isabella), Hamlet (Hamlet) and Nona Shepphard's Crazy Lady.

The Sanford Meisner Theatre is at 164 Eleventh Avenue between 22nd and 23rd Streets.

Performances play Wednesdays-Saturdays at 8 PM, Sundays at 5 PM. Tickets are $30.

For reservations, call (212) 352-3101.