You never forget your first lover. The affair plays like a moving picture over and over in your mind: passionate, consuming, secret, taboo.
Fade in: the seamy French Quarter of Southern Indochina in the 1930s where the 14-year-old impoverished schoolgirl who will someday be French novelist Marguerite Duras is about to meet and captivate a wealthy 27-year-old Chinese aristocrat.
With the older Duras as our guide, The North China Lover transports us on a provocative and haunting journey of awakening and sacrifice, revealing the delicate and indelible effect of life on art.
I’ll be starring as the eponymous Lover in the 2013-14 season opener at the renown Lookingglass Theatre in Chicago. The North China Lover is adapted and directed by company member Heidi Stillman, who uses not only the novel, but also the film and elements of Duras’ life for the play.
The cast includes Rae Gray as the Child, Tony Award-winner Deanna Dunagan as M, ensemble member Tracy Walsh as Woman in Red, Amy J. Carle as Mother, Walter Owen Briggs as Pierre, JJ Phillips as Paulo, and Allison Torem as Helene.
Inventive. Collaborative. Transformative. Lookingglass Theatre Company, recipient of the 2011 Regional Theatre Tony Award, was founded in 1988 by eight Northwestern University students. Now in its 26th season, Lookingglass is home to a multi-disciplined ensemble of artists who create story-centered theatrical work that is physical, aurally rich and visually metaphoric. Lookingglass has staged 60 world premieres at 23 venues across Chicago, and garnered 52 Joseph Jefferson Awards and Citations.
Work premiered at Lookingglass has been produced in New York City, Los Angeles, Seattle, Berkeley, Philadelphia, Princeton, Hartford, Kansas City, Washington D.C., and St. Louis. Lookingglass original scripts have been produced across the United States.
The Lookingglass Theatre in Chicago’s landmark Water Tower Water Works opened in June 2003. In addition to developing and presenting ensemble work, Lookingglass Education and Community programs encourage creativity, teamwork and confidence with thousands of community members each year.
Lookingglass Theatre Company continues to expand its artistic, financial and institutional boundaries under the guidance of Artistic Director Andrew White, Executive Director Rachel Kraft, Producing Artistic Director Philip R. Smith, Artistic Director of New Work Heidi Stillman, a 24-member artistic ensemble, 15 artistic associates, 11 production affiliates, an administrative staff and a dedicated board of directors led by Chairman Richard Ditton of Incredible Technologies and President Joe Brady of Jones Lang LaSalle.
The North China Lover runs Sept. 25 – Nov. 10
For more information, visit lookingglasstheatre.org.