Death and the Maidens

What do Virginia Woolf, Anne Sexton, and Sylvia Plath have in common? They’re all famous dead literary figures. They all kept journals. And, at the moment, all three are being considered by the Arizona Women’s Theatre Company in its newest production, The Ophelia Project, presented in conjunction with the Phoenix Fringe Festival. Directed by Rachel Bowditch, the play intertwines stories of and commentaries on Woolf’s and Sexton’s mental illnesses and the emotional trials that led to Plath’s infamous suicide. The poetry of each author provides a framework for a piece that uses historical text as a through-line, and the production’s multimedia presentational style punches up a story of three rather disparate women whose lives dovetailed in tragedies almost as well-known as their better works. No doubt Ophelia will find ways to comment on the ways in which these tragic authors were alike, although one wonders what Woolf, who wrote that “a woman must have . . . a room of her own if she is to write,” might think of being profiled alongside other authors.
Fri., March 27, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., March 28, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., March 29, 7:30 p.m.; Fri., April 3, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., April 4, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., April 5, 7:30 p.m., 2009
KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Robrt L. Pela has been a weekly contributor to Phoenix New Times since 1991, primarily as a cultural critic. His radio essays air on National Public Radio affiliate KJZZ's Morning Edition.
Contact: Robrt L. Pela