Laura Pels Presents Off-Broadway Debut of French Work Hilda | Playbill

News Laura Pels Presents Off-Broadway Debut of French Work Hilda
The Off-Broadway premiere of noted French-African writer Marie Ndiaye's first play Hilda will play a limited engagement at the 59E59 Theaters, starting Nov. 11.

The Laura Pels International Foundation presents the work which opens Nov. 15 for a run through Dec. 11. Carey Perloff — artistic director of San Francisco's American Conservatory Theater, where the work made its America debut — returns to stage the work translated into English by Erika Rundle.

Hilda follows the mysterious relationship that develops between an upper class housewife and the titular beautiful woman she hires as a nanny.

Ellen Karas — who played the title role in the A.C.T. staging and its subsequent run at Washington, D.C.'s Studio Theatre — again plays the housewife opposite Michael Earle and Brandy Burre.

The design features Donald Eastman (scenic), Nancy Schertler (lighting), David Draper (costumes) and Cliff Carruthers (sound). The production also features original music by David Lang.

French-born Ndiaye had her first novel, "Quant au riche avenir (As for the Rich Future)," published at the age of 17. She has since written seven novels including "Rosie Carpe," "Comédie classique" and a collection of short stories "Tous mes amis (All My Friends)." Her first work of drama Hilda was originally written as a radio drama that aired France's Avignon Festival in 1999. The play made its world premiere in 2002 at Pel's Théâtre de l'Atelier in Paris. The scribe's other plays include Providence and Papa doit manger. Pels is a producer, philanthropist and owner of Paris' Theatre de l'Atelier. The long term Roundabout Theatre Company board member was recently honored with the company's new Off-Broadway space which bears her name. She is also the namesake for a PEN literary award honoring lifetime dramatists and mid-career playwrights.

Tickets to Hilda at 59E59 Theatres, 59 East 59th Street, (between Park and Madison Avenues), are available by phone at (212) 279-4200 or online at

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