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The Wilma Theater opens its 2014/15 season with Gina Gionfriddo’s 'Rapture, Blister, Burn' directed by Joanna Settle Featuring an entirely local cast of actors and original music by Tony® Award-winner Stew


PHILADELPHIA
– After the highly acclaimed production of Becky Shaw in the 2009/10 season The Wilma Theater is thrilled to be producing its second Gina Gionfriddo play—Rapture, Blister, Burn directed by UArts Ira Brind School of Theater Director Joanna Settle. When celebrity professor Catherine reunites with her best friends from graduate school, now a married couple with kids living in a New England college town, she begins to rethink the choices she’s made over the past twenty years. As these three friends navigate their new relationships with each other, feelings of regret begin to arise. Catherine’s homecoming leads to shifting dynamics and a larger look at how much (or little) the lives of women have evolved over the past century, while examining subjects ranging from pornography to Betty Friedan to slasher films. Susan Smith Blackburn Prize-winner Gina Gionfriddo offers a fresh take on timeless questions by wittily juxtaposing feminist theories with messy human desires.

Rapture, Blister, Burn begins on Wednesday, October 8, 2014; opens on Wednesday, October 15, 2014; and closes on Sunday, November 2, 2014.

Critics and members of the press are invited to attend Press Night on Wednesday, October 15, at 7:30pm. For ticket arrangements, contact Sara Madden at smadden@wilmatheater.org or 215.893.9456 x102.

When asked about returning to the Wilma stage, playwright Gina Gionfriddo stated, “The Wilma gave me a beautiful production of my play Becky Shaw, and I am thrilled to be back with my newest work.” Director Joanna Settle comments on her first experience with the Wilma and the opportunity of working with an all-local cast, saying “I've long wanted to work at the Wilma and am thrilled to have the chance.  It's seemed to me for years that Blanka Zizka and her company of passionate colleagues held the ethical center of theater making in America. It's an honor to be here with them and to lend myself to the adventure of Gina Gionfriddo's Rapture, Blister, Burn. It's such a thrill to find myself only a few months into my Philadelphia life with the opportunity to work with some of the city’s finest performers. While art making doesn’t really obey the boundaries of geographical borders, I intentionally sought an all-Philly cast for this production, and am champing at the bit to get started. These people knocked me out in their auditions with their vitality, curiosity, and raw talent. Blanka Zizka, the Wilma, and this cast are the best welcome I could possibly hope for in my new artistic home.”

Production History
Rapture, Blister, Burn received its premiere in 2012 at Playwrights Horizons. In 2013 it was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Drama.

About the Playwright
Gina Gionfriddo was a Pulitzer Prize Finalist for Becky Shaw, which was produced to critical acclaim at the Wilma in the 2009/10 season. Other plays include After Ashley (Humana Festival 2004, The Vineyard Theatre in New York, regional theatres throughout the country, and abroad in Poland), U.S. Drag (Off-Broadway by the stageFARM, Clubbed Thumb at HERE, and many regional productions), Guinevere (O’Neill Playwrights’ Conference), and the one-acts Safe, Squalor, and America’s Got Tragedy (commissioned and presented by the stageFARM). Gina has received an Obie Award, an Outer Critics Circle Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, the Helen Merrill Award for Emerging Playwrights, an American Theatre Critics Association/Steinberg citation, and a Rhode Island State Council on the Arts Fellowship. She has written for the television programs “House of Cards,” “Law & Order,” “Law & Order: Criminal Intent,” “Cold Case,” and “The Borgias.”  She has contributed essays on rock music to the literary journal The Believer and short fiction to Canteen. A graduate of the MFA Playwriting Program at Brown University, she has taught writing at Brown, Providence College, and Rhode Island College.

About the Director
Joanna Settle is the newly appointed Director of the Ira Brind School of Theater Arts at The University of the Arts. She is a graduate of the Julliard School directing program and has directed and taught at the undergraduate and graduate levels at the Julliard School, Bard College, Cornell University, and Brown/Trinity MFA. Prior to UArts, Joanna served as the Artistic Director of Shakespeare on the Sound from 2009 to 2012. From 1998 to 2004, she was the Artistic Director of Chicago's Division 13 Productions, where she directed, adapted, or designed 15 of D13's 17 projects, including BLOOD LINE: The Oedipus/Antigone Story, two plays by Sophocles, Macbett, and several Samuel Beckett shorts including Cascando, Rockaby, and Play.

This summer, Joanna directed Family Album at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Past directorial projects include David Cale's Harry Clarke at the Warhol Museum; Romeo and Juliet for Shakespeare on the Sound; In Darfur by Winter Miller, the finale of Suzan-Lori Parks's 365 Days/365 Plays, and Stephen Brown's Future Me (Summer Play Festival) at The Public Theater; the world premiere of Heather Raffo's award-winning Nine Parts of Desire at Manhattan Ensemble Theater, which she also restaged for the Geffen Playhouse, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art, MassMOCA, Seattle Repertory Theatre and Washington D.C.'s Arena Stage. Upcoming projects include The Total Bent at The Public Theater next Fall.

Cast and Design Team
The cast features Krista Apple-Hodge (The Life of Galileo; Macbeth; Our Class; In The Next Room, or the vibrator play) as Catherine, Nancy Boykin (Les Liaisons Dangereuses, Raw Boys) as Alice, Maia DeSanti (Angels In America) as Gwen, Campbell Meaghan O’Hare as Avery, and Harry Smith (The Real Thing) as Don.  

The artistic team includes Set Designer Kristen Robinson, Costume Designer Rosemarie McKelvey (Body Awareness, Assistance), Lighting Designer Thom Weaver (The Real Thing; Don Juan Comes Home from Iraq; Assistance; Body Awareness; Our Class; In The Next Room, or the vibrator play; Becky Shaw), Sound Designer Larry Fowler, and Tony® Award-winning Composer Stew.

Special Events and Opportunities

Beer Tasting
Thursday, October 9, 2014, 6:30pm

Join us for a pre-show beer tasting in our lobby from 6:30-7:30pm with Naked Brewing Company—complimentary for ticket-holders to that evening's performance!

Beer Tasting
Friday, October 10, 2014, 7:00pm

Join us for a pre-show beer tasting in our lobby from 7:00-8:00pm with Naked Brewing Company—complimentary for ticket-holders to that evening's performance!

UArts Event
Sunday, October, 12, 2014,  1:00pm

University of the Arts students, faculty, and staff are invited to a complimentary lunch reception before the 2:00pm performance and a post-show discussion with director Joanna Settle and cast and designers Krista Apple-Hodge, Campbell Meaghan O’Hare, and Larry Fowler. Tickets to the performance are just $10 for students with ID and $25 for faculty, staff, and guests. When reserving tickets attendees should let the box office know they are planning to attend this special University of the Arts event.  If purchasing tickets online, attendees can RSVP to the reception by emailing tickets@wilmatheater.org.

Directors Gathering Dialogue
Tuesday, October 14, 2014, 8:30pm

Learn more about the production through a discussion with the Directors Gathering and Rapture, Blister, Burn director Joanna Settle following the performance.

Post-Show Chat
Thursday, October 16, 2014, 9:30pm
Learn more about the production through discussions with artists and audience members following the performance.

Post-Show Chat
Thursday, October 23, 2014, 9:30pm
Learn more about the production through discussions with artists and audience members following the performance.

Young Friends Night
Friday, October 24, 2014, 7:00pm
For the young and young-at-heart, this performance includes a complimentary pre-show food and drink reception at the Wilma from 7:00-8:00pm!

Coffee Chat
Wednesday, October 29, 2014, 4:00pm
Learn more about the production through discussions with artists and audience members following the performance; complimentary coffee included!

Open Captioning
Saturday, November 1, 2014, 2:00pm

Tickets
Under our new Wilma WynTix initiative all tickets, including subscription tickets, for all days and times throughout the full four-week mainstage run will be enjoyed by the general public at the subsidized rate of $25 or $10 for students and theater artists. Tickets are available at the Wilma’s Box Office by calling 215.546.7824, visiting wilmatheater.org, or coming to the theater, located at 265 South Broad Street in Philadelphia. 

The Doubletree Hotel and The Sporting Club at The Bellevue are the Season Sponsors for The Wilma Theater’s 2014/15 Season.

Mission
The Wilma Theater creates living, adventurous art. We engage artists and audiences in imaginative reflection on the complexities of contemporary life. We present bold, original, well-crafted productions that represent a range of voices, viewpoints, and styles.

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What: Rapture, Blister, Burn
by Gina Gionfriddo
directed by Joanna Settle

Where: The Wilma Theater
265 South Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107

When:  
October 8 – November 2, 2014
Opening Night: October 15, 2014
Reviewing members of the press are invited to attend opening night and may reserve tickets by contacting Sara Madden, Marketing and Community Relations Manager, at smadden@wilmatheater.org 

Summary: When celebrity professor Catherine reunites with her best friends from graduate school, now a married couple with kids living in a New England college town, she begins to rethink the choices she’s made over the past twenty years. As these three friends navigate their new relationships with each other, feelings of regret begin to arise. Catherine’s homecoming leads to shifting dynamics and a larger look at how much (or little) the lives of women have evolved over the past century, while examining subjects ranging from pornography to Betty Friedan to slasher films. Susan Smith Blackburn Prize-winner Gina Gionfriddo (author of the Wilma’s hit production of Becky Shaw) offers a fresh take on timeless questions by wittily juxtaposing feminist theories with messy human desires.

Tickets
Under our new Wilma WynTix initiative all tickets, including subscription tickets, for all days and times throughout the full four-week mainstage run will be enjoyed by the general public at the subsidized rate of $25 or $10 for students and theater artists. Tickets are available at the Wilma’s Box Office by calling 215.546.7824, visiting wilmatheater.org, or coming to the theater, located at 265 South Broad Street in Philadelphia.

Cast
Krista Apple-Hodge as Catherine
Nancy Boykin as Alice
Maia DeSanti as Gwen
Campbell Meaghan O’Hare as Avery
Harry Smith as Don

Artistic Team
Director: Joanna Settle
Set Design: Kristen Robinson
Costume Design: Rosemarie McKelvey
Lighting Design: Thom Weaver
Sound Design: Larry Fowler
Composer: Stew
Resident Stage Manager - Patreshettarlini Adams

Press Contact
Sara Madden, Marketing and Community Relations Manager
215.893.9456 x102
smadden@wilmatheater.org

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Season Sponsor
Season Sponsor