Berkeley Repertory Theatre announced the cast and creative team for its world premiere of Eve Ensler's EMOTIONAL CREATURE. This positive and propulsive new show – from the Tony Award-winning playwright, performer, and activist who created The Vagina Monologues – features a choreographer, a composer, four top designers, and an ensemble of talented young women. Directed by Obie Award-winner Jo Bonney, Emotional Creature plays only 36 performances in the Roda Theatre. The limited engagement at Berkeley Rep begins previews on June 14, opens June 22, and runs through July 15. The lead producers of this premiere are Wayne Jordan and Quinn Delaney, Marjorie Randolph, and Jack and Betty Schafer; the executive producer is the Strauch Kulhanjian Family. The development of this production has been supported in part by The Mosse Artistic Development Fund.
Eve Ensler's latest effort to empower people is based on her bestselling novel I Am an Emotional Creature: The Secret Life of Girls Around the World. This powerful new play is made up of original monologues, irresistible songs, and music 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. It debuts in Berkeley following successful workshops in Johannesburg and Paris. Known for launching high-profile projects such as American Idiot and Passing Strange, Berkeley Rep is the perfect place to begin this journey.
"Emotional Creature is about being a girl in the world in 2012 and about discovering the girl in each of us," Ensler remarks. "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. I am thrilled at the extraordinary, diverse, wildly talented, and committed actors, producers, and creative team – and of course our musical director Charl-Johan Lingenfelder and director Jo Bonney – who will take Emotional Creature to the next level."
"Eve Ensler is a force of nature," says Tony Taccone, artistic director of Berkeley Rep. "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 idea. Ms. Ensler has found a way to give women, girls, and all of us an important opportunity to express ourselves in a creative and dynamic way. It's thrilling for us to be part of it."
Eve Ensler is the author of The Vagina Monologues, which has been translated into 48 languages and performed in over 140 countries, including sold-out runs off Broadway and on London's West End. Her experience performing that show inspired her to create V-Day, a global movement to stop violence against women and girls. Her other work includes plays such as The Good Body and Here, the memoir Insecure at Last, and the anthology A Memory, A Monologue, A Rant, and a Prayer, co-edited with Mollie Doyle.
Jo Bonney has directed world premieres for noted writers such as Alan Ball, Eric Bogosian, Culture Clash, Jessica Goldberg, Neil LaBute, Warren Leight, Lynn Nottage, Darci Picoult, Suzan Lori-Parks, José Rivera, Christopher Shinn, Diana Son, Naomi Wallace, and Michael Weller. At Berkeley Rep, she staged the world premiere of Danny Hoch's Jails, Hospitals & Hip Hop. Off Broadway, her production of Will Power's The Seven won the Lucille Lortel Award for Best Musical and her staging of Lanford Wilson's Fifth of July won the Lortel Award for Best Revival.