Meetup #11: Orlando

628x471To celebrate ten phenomenal meetups, WWSF announced two Meetups for the month of September. For our first meetup of the month, our group of feisty feminists watched TheatreFirst’s production of Sarah Ruhl’s Orlando, based on Virginia Woolf’s timeless play of the same name. The production has been receiving great press all through its 2-week long run.

SFGate’s Robert Hurwitt says of the production: “Simplicity is magical in “Orlando.” That’s as true for Sarah Ruhl’s lovingly crafted adaptation of Virginia Woolf’s time-bending, gender-shifting novel as it is for Woolf’s mesmerizing prose. In the TheatreFirst “Orlando,” which opened Friday, the simple directness of staging and acting work an incremental wonder all their own.”

He also has some great things to say about the ensemble: “There are standout moments, large and small, for every ensemble member, from Andrea Day’s imperious, cuttingly observant Elizabeth (and various servants) and Janne Barklis’ seductively hot-reserved Russian princess to Soren Santos’ buoyantly smitten Marmaduke, who helps Orlando discover her female sexuality. Santos, Michael Barr and Marlene Yarosh are comically over the top as many of the young Orlando’s more ardent women pursuers.”

Charles Kruger of TheatreStorm thinks Stephanie DeMott’s portrayal of Orlando deserves all the praise it’s been getting so far: “Director Domenique Lozano’s production of Sarah Ruhl‘s “Orlando” (adapted from the novel by Virginia Woolf) is full of all manner of delights, chief of which is Stephanie DeMott in the title role of the jaded young nobleman, lover of Queen Elizabeth, who wakes up one morning to find he has changed into a woman. DeMott’s cross-gender creation of the young male Orlando is astonishingly convincing.”

What did you think of the production? Leave a message of support to all the multitalented women that were part of this stellar production, as well as a shout-out to your fellow attendees in the comments.

“Orlando” by Sarah Ruhl, produced by TheatreFirst. Director: Domenique Lozano. Set: Martin Flynn. Lighting: Michael Palumbo. Sound: Ryan Lee Short. Costumes: Callie Floor. Properties: Devon Labelle. Technical Director: Sam Schwemberger

Stephanie DeMott: Orlando. Andrea Day: Queen Elizabeth/Ensemble. Janne Barklis: Sasha/Ensemble. Soren Santos: Marmaduke/Ensemble. Marlene Yarosh: Ensemble/Understudy. Michael Barr: Archduke/Ensemble.

Image courtesy SFGate

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2 responses to “Meetup #11: Orlando

  1. A major highlight for me on this production was the live foley sound effects provided by the cast. Whether it was a thunderstorm or Orlando and Sasha skating on the frozen Thames, it all brought the world of the play beautifully to life! Kudos to Devon LaBelle for her props design work to bring all those objects to the production! Also, since this is a time travel piece, the costumes were an essential visual cue for that passage of time, and beautifully rendered by Callie Floor.

  2. What a delicious evening in the theatre–Woolf’s sparkling, witty novel was brought to life in a highly theatrical and enchanting production. Stephanie DeMott was particularly outstanding as the title character who transforms from boy to woman and romps across 500 years in the span of a 90-minute play.

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