adapted by Sarah Ruhl
Directed by A.Nora Long
Season Sponsored by Lee & Diana Humphrey and Bank of America
Production sponsored by Joseph Richard & René Morrissette
Director A. Nora Long sponsored by Mary K. Eliot
Approximately 90 minutes with one intermission.
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In this joyful romance of gender roles and expectations, Orlando the man wakes up, after a particularly wild night in 17th-century Constantinople, to find himself a woman! She abandons herself to three centuries of navigating love, desire, and the world from an entirely different perspective. Oft described as the most charming love letter in literature – written by Woolf to Vita Sackville-West – Sarah Ruhl brings the novel to life on stage in a grand, epic adventure that transcends time, place, and gender.
“Deliciously frolicsome! Depths of sheer pleasure!” — NY Times
Parental Advisory: Virginia Woolf’s Orlando contains one scene of silhouetted nudity. While we don’t suggest ages, please call the Box Office (617.585.5678) if you have questions about appropriateness for your child.
Press & Reviews
“This production keeps the running time down to a tight 90 minutes, propelled by an energetic cadre of actors… with enthusiastic acting the six-person ensemble “paints” a series of picaresque adventures.” “This is a clever and fitting approach.”
A. Nora Long directs this delightfully propulsive and clear-headed production, wittily steering an outstanding six-person cast through the sort of precise physical choreography that disguises itself as effortless. Caroline Lawton is indefatigably charming as Orlando Each actor in the chorus — also including Michael Hisamoto, Rory Lambert-Wright, Jeff Marcus, and Elise Arsenault — is similarly excellent and indispensable to the rapid-fire storytelling and scene-shifting.
“In this fast-moving, ambitious and farcical fairy tale, Orlando – played impressively by Caroline Lawton… is entertaining and often funny, showing a gift for physical comedy and imagination.”
“As audiences ponder the complexity of Orlando’s identity, one thing is clear – they won’t be bored.”
“On the surface, Orlando is delightful and fun,” says Jared, “but it’s the depths wisely plumbed just beneath that turn cheek into something altogether arresting.”
This attractive, jam-packed production bursts from the compact LYRIC STAGE. Sets and costumes are stripped down, beautiful, and efficient– allowing for the fleet passage of time!
It’s a tricky show to stage, but director on speed A.Nora Long and this game cast of five who play an exponential number of parts– keep this timely transgender romp moving at a cool 90 minutes–through March 25!
Real genius is often way ahead of its time. This may be the case with Orlando and with each new adaptation, each new pair of eyes looking at the original and molding it to its own times. One can only wonder what audiences fifty years from now may make of this wonderful evening in the theater.
PREVIEWS & INTERVIEWS
“I think the time is right for ‘Orlando,’” says Ruhl. “Virginia Woolf couldn’t have imagined the trans movement, but she relished the idea that the mind of the artist is androgynous and wanted to open people up to possibilities.”
Theater major Rory Lambert-Wright is one of six chorus members described by the Boston Globe as “excellent and indispensable to the rapid-fire storytelling and scene-shifting” of Virginia Woolf’s Orlando at the Lyric Stage Company.
“As a chorus, we narrate, provide exposition, and work together to build the story,” says Lambert-Wright, Class of 2019. “You always have to be engaged in what’s going on, because it’s not the responsibility of the chorus to play characters, but to communicate the story to the audience.”
Despite Woolf’s highbrow reputation, “Orlando” is a wild, fun and sexy tale rich in time-travel and gender bending romance. “It’s a fast-paced play,” says Long. In the intimate confines of the Lyric, she hopes “Orlando” feels “like a party that will end too soon.”
Cast & Crew
Caroline Lawton* (Orlando) returns to the Lyric Stage having previously appeared in The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife and The Underpants. Since returning from London, Caroline has been seen in Charlotte’s Web, Trumpet of the Swan (Wheelock Family Theatre), Oceanside (Merrimack Rep), Women Who Mapped the Stars (Poets Theatre), and Reconsidering Hanna(h) (Boston Playwrights Theatre) as well as in numerous films and commercials. International credits include Frankie and Johnny in the Claire de Lune (Chipping Norton Theatre), A Woman of No Importance (Clandon Park), Private Thoughts in Public Spaces (CASA Festival). Other theatre credits include Taming of the Shrew (Commonwealth Shakespeare), Arcadia and Comedy of Errors (Publick Theatre), An American Daughter (SpeakEasy Stage), Shear Madness (Charles Playhouse), and Mr. Sensitivity (NY International Fringe Festival). Film and television credits include Confessions of a Shopaholic, One Night Only, Scotch Hill, Casting About, My Brother Jack, Guiding Light, and the upcoming Hulu series Castle Rock.
Elise Arsenault* (Chorus) returns to the Lyric Stage having previously appeared in Avenue Q (Elliott Norton Award, Best Ensemble) My Fair Lady, City of Angels, Into the Woods, and Company. She’s made recent appearances at Merrimack Rep, Stoneham, Ocean State Theatre Co, Colonial Theater, HowlRound, and New Bedford Festival Theater. A graduate of George Mason University and the British American Drama Academy at Oxford, Elise serves as a career coach for actors and founded The Global Actor in 2017, a community for actors who live and work in multiple markets. She is a Backstage Expert (an ongoing contributor to Backstage.com) and co-owns The TreeCave, a full-service recording studio, with her husband, Justin Marra. As a director and teaching artist, Elise has facilitated workshops throughout the country with numerous organizations, including the Smithsonian Institute, The Lady Project and Washington National Opera. Her voice-over work can be heard in national commercials and narrations for over 60 audiobooks. More at ELISEARSENAULT.COM
Michael Hisamoto* (Chorus) is a Boston-based actor, playwright, educator, and director. Recent acting credits include Hold These Truths, Stage Kiss, Fast Company (Lyric Stage), Charlotte’s Web (Wheelock Family Theatre), Yellow Face (The Office of War Information), The Ordinary Epic (Crose to Home Productions), and The Important Thing about Earthquakes (Watertown Children’s Theatre). Upcoming productions include Allegiance (SpeakEasy Stage). A strong proponent of new work, Michael has developed and workshopped new plays for companies like The Huntington Theatre Company, The Williamstown Theatre Festival, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, HowlRound, Fresh Ink Theatre Company, and more. In addition to his acting work, Michael was a Playwriting Resident at the Kennedy Center’s American College Theatre Festival, and has directed or assisted on numerous productions across Boston, and briefly led a children’s theatre troupe in Southern California, where he was also recognized for his work as a youth in the theatre by the California State Assembly and Senate. Michael believes in educating the next generation of artists, teaching and having taught at multiple institutions, and happily offers career consultation free of charge to young artists of color. Michael is a graduate of The Orange County School of the Arts and Boston University. MICHAELHISAMOTO.COM
Rory Lambert-Wright (Chorus) is making his Lyric Stage debut, however, this is not his debut in Orlando – he appeared in Suffolk University’s spring 2017 production of the show also directed by A. Nora Long. Rory studies acting and sound design at Suffolk. During his time there, he has designed four productions, and has performed in Rent and Margo Veil. He is also an avid singer, and performed with the Massachusetts Music Educator’s Association’s all-state choir multiple times while in school. He would like to thank his two mothers, Megan and Dana, for their unwavering support in his endeavors.
Jeff Marcus (Chorus) returns to the Lyric Stage after appearing in last season’s Camelot. Other regional credits include Shakespeare in Love (SpeakEasy Stage), The Aliens (Theatre On Fire), Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again (Company One), Noises Off (Hackmatack Theatre), A Beautiful Day In November On The Banks Of The Greatest Of The Great Lakes (Apollinaire Theater Company), Love Of The Nightingale (HUB Theatre Company), From The Deep (Boston Public Works, NYCFringe). He will next be seen in Stuart Little (Wheelock Family Theatre). Jeff has a B.A. in Theater Studies from Emerson College.
Hayley Spivey (Chorus) is a graduate of Boston University with a B.F.A. in Theatre Arts. Her studies focused in acting, playwriting, and dramaturgy. Her most recent credits include Don’t Give Up the Ship (Fresh Ink), Men on Boats (SpeakEasy Stage), and Crossing Flight (TC Squared Theatre).
A. Nora Long (Director) is the associate artistic director at the Lyric Stage where she directed Murder for Two, Mr. Burns, a post-electric play, Dear Elizabeth and assistant directed 33 Variations. In addition to work at the Lyric, Nora is one of the artistic directors for New Exhibition Room, a local fringe company that specializes in developing cheeky, ensemble-created new work. She has directed and led the creation of several projects with NXR including Shh!, an exploration on the role of censorship which attended the New York International Fringe Festival after a sold-out run in Boston; The Paper Bag Princess, an all-ages show, Midnight at the Last Night Cabaret and EEP! Show. Other recent directing credits include Cymbeline, Macbeth (Commonwealth Shakespeare Company Apprentice Program), Noises Off!, Ruthless: the Musical! (Hackmatack Playhouse), Three (Boston Public Works), The Real Thing, Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me (Bad Habit Productions) and Candyland (New Exhibition Room). She received her MFA in Dramaturgy from the American Repertory Theatre/ Moscow Art Theatre School Institute for Advanced Theatre Training at Harvard University and her BA from Sarah Lawrence College in theatre and Italian.
Richard Wadsworth Chambers** (Scenic Design) has designed scenery for over two hundred productions for companies such as The Pittsburgh Public Theatre, StageWest, North Shore Music Theatre, Merrimack Repertory Theatre, Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, Shakespeare and Company, and the Cape Playhouse. He has designed staged productions for the Buffalo Philharmonic, Portland Symphony and Virginia Symphony, as well as several operas for the New England Conservatory. Premiers include plays by Derek Walcott, Robert Brustein, Richard Dresser, and three plays Off-Broadway by Ronan Noone. His last design for the Lyric Stage was Water by the Spoonful. Richard holds an M.F.A. from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts where he studied with Oliver Smith and John Conklin. He is the recipient of two Elliot Norton Awards and three Independent Reviewers of New England Awards, is a member of United Scenic Artists local 829, has been a professor at New York University, Ithaca College, and Boston University, and is a full professor at Suffolk University’s Department of Theatre.
Jessica Pribble (Costume Design) is joining the Lyric Stage for her first production. Her local costume design credits include Hamlet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream ( Actor’s Shakespeare Project), A Charlie Brown Christmas, Drowsy Chaperone, and Fancy Nancy (Boston Children’s Theatre). She led the costume design area of Central Washington University’s B.F.A. program for four years before moving east. She has designed across the country at theatres such as Fairbanks Shakespeare Festival, Midtown Arts Center, Lexington Children’s Theatre, Quest Theatre Ensemble, Kentucky Shakespeare Festival, and Dogtown Theatre. Her work with theatrical sustainability includes the costume chapters of A Practical Guide to Greener Theatre. She currently serves as a member of the faculty for the Bridgewater State University Department of Dance. Jessica holds an M.F.A. in Theatre from Purdue University and a B.S. in Theatre from Bradley University.
Steven McIntosh (Lighting Design) returns to the Lyric Stage for the first time since sound designing Speech & Debate in 2009. Steven has been a Lighting and Sound Designer in the Boston-area for the past 15 years. Besides the Lyric Stage, he has designed for other local theater companies including the Huntington Theater, Boston Playwrights’ Theater, Central Square Theatre, Stoneham Theater, The Cape Playhouse, Boston University, and Suffolk University. Steven is currently Technical Director and an instructor in Suffolk University’s Theater Department. He received his B.F.A. in Design from Boston University.
* denotes member of Actor’s Equity Association
** denotes member of United Scenic Artists (USA-Locat 829)
*** denotes member of Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC)