Eve Ensler's Emotional Creature, a Celebration of Girlhood, Will Get World Premiere in Berkeley in 2012
By Kenneth Jones
Tony Award-honored playwright, performer and activist Eve Ensler announced on Oct. 21 that she will team with Berkeley Repertory Theatre to present the world premiere of her new play Emotional Creature, about the lives of girls, at the Rep's Roda Theatre starting in June 2012.
Emotional Creature was developed during workshops in Johannesburg and Paris. Ensler is best known as the creator of The Vagina Monologues and the V-Day effort to raise awareness about violence against women and girls.
"Emotional Creature is about being a girl in the world in 2011 and about discovering the girl in each of us," Ensler said in a statement. "It is about changing the verb from 'please' to 'create' or 'defy' or 'resist' or 'imagine.' It is about traveling and dancing and refusing. It is about telling secrets and breaking taboos and building a posse. Where else would we begin this in America than Berkeley, in what other theatre than Berkeley Rep, which has a gorgeous history of pushing the edge, engaging in social issues, and conjuring community."
Emotional Creature — based on Ensler's bestselling book "I Am an Emotional Creature: The Secret Life of Girls Around the World" — will be comprised of girls. Casting will be announced. It will play 36 performances at Berkeley Rep, June 15-July 15. Tickets go on sale Oct. 26.
Emotional Creature will be directed by Obie Award-winning director Jo Bonney, who recently directed Off-Broadway's By the Way, Meet Vera Stark; Break of Noon; and Some Girl(s).
According to Berkeley Rep, "This powerful new play is made up of original monologues — and irresistible songs — about and for girls. Placing their stories squarely center stage, it gives full expression to their secret voices and innermost thoughts, highlighting the diversity and commonality of the issues they face. Emotional Creature is a call, a reckoning, an education, an act of empowerment for girls, and an illumination for parents and for us all."
Ensler is also the author of the plays The Good Body (seen on Broadway) and Here, the memoir "Insecure at Last," and the anthology "A Memory, A Monologue, A Rant, and a Prayer," co-edited with Mollie Doyle. In 2011, she was the recipient of the Special Tony Award known as the Isabelle Stevenson Award.
Emotional Creature has music and music direction by Charl-Johan Lingenfelder.
Tony Taccone, artistic director of Berkeley Rep, said in a statement, "Eve Ensler is a force of nature. Her passion, joy, and complete commitment to the making of Emotional Creature were immediately apparent to me. She is dedicated to this almost antiquated idea that theatre can change lives — and she settles for nothing less. This show is more evidence of that. Ms. Ensler has found a way to give adolescent girls an important opportunity to express themselves in a creative and dynamic way. It's thrilling for us to be part of it."
To purchase seats, or for more information, call (510) 647-2949 or toll-free at (888) 4-BRT-TIX or visit berkeleyrep.org.
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