A note from Blanka Zizka


Founding Artistic Director Blanka Zizka gives us a few thoughts on our upcoming production of Rapture, Blister, Burn.

In her foreword to The Feminine Mystique (1963), Betty Friedan suggested there was one unspoken question American women asked themselves at night: Is this all? Fifty years later, in Gina Gionfriddo’s Rapture, Blister, Burn, the question is asked again by two forty-something women who have more opportunities than their predecessors had to change their lives. But will they? Can they? And are they truly determined to do so? Gina Gionfriddo, whose Becky Shaw we produced a few years ago, takes on feminist theories and juxtaposes them with messy human desires, needs and wants. She creates a witty, smart, and emotionally-charged comedy that asks many probing questions about sexual freedom, relationships, feminism, careers, love, horror movies, academia, and desires to be fulfilled.  

Director Joanna Settle has just moved to Philadelphia to become the new director of the Ira Brind School of Theater Arts at The University of the Arts. Joanna has done lots of developmental work on new plays, including Nine Parts of Desire (which the Wilma created in a seperate production in 2006). Until recently she was the Artistic Director of Shakespeare on the Sound, where she collaborated with composer and rock’n’roll musician Stew. Joanna and Stew are presently working on two different projects; one has just premiered at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and the other will open at The Public Theater next fall. I’m very happy to welcome Joanna to Philadelphia and the Wilma.

Theater is the closest art form to life; it is concerned with time and it is as unpredictable and ephemeral as life is. After the performance is finished, it only lives in the minds of us who have seen it and who perhaps will remember it. How do we speak about it? What comes out of this new encounter between the experiences, ideas, and presumptions that we bring with us to the theater and those explored on stage? That’s what is fascinating to me about theater - these unknown and unpredictable possibilities in the encounter that lie there in the open.









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