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FROM THE FOOTLIGHTS - March 1999

Outsiders in Ireland (Part One)

Our "Outsiders & Outlaws" series continues on Wednesday, March 24, with "Translations" (1980), by Irish playwright Brian Friel. In 1833, as part of an effort to integrate Ireland into the United Kingdom, British military surveyors arrive in County Donegal. They immediately start changing place names from Gaelic into English. A "sweet and subtle play, which deals tenderly with the rape of a culture" (Newsweek), "Translations" "has something profound to say about how words can determine the fates of ordinary people, nations and even centuries of history" (New York Times). Our meeting will feature Friel biographer & Georgetown University professor George O'Brien, along with director Mark Rhea, founder of the Keegan Theatre, who earned a Helen Hayes nomination for his 1997 production of "Translations." We will meet at Luna Books, 1633 P St., NW (3d floor), 3 blocks E of Dupont Circle. Dinner begins at 6:30 & our discussion at 7:30. Reserve a space by calling Susan Kimmel (301-229-3037 (h) & 202-418-1679 (w)) or e-mailing skimmel@compusnet.com. You can find "Translations" in NW DC at Backstage Books, 2101 P St., Super Crown, 11 Dupont Circle, & for special Footlights discounts at Olsson's, 1307 19th St. & Politics & Prose, 5015 CT Ave. Note that we have moved our March meeting from March 25 to March 24 & cancelled plans to discuss or attend "The Beauty Queen of Leenane." At our May meeting, "Outsiders in Ireland (Part Two)," we will discuss another work by the same author.

Playwright Explains "How I Learned to Drive"

On Monday, April 19, we will discuss last year's winner of the Pulitzer Prize, "How I Learned to Drive" (1997), by Paula Vogel. "A sweet play about pedophilia" (Newsday), "How I Learned to Drive" is a "lovely, harrowing guide to the crippling persistence of one woman's memories" (New York Times). Our meeting will feature the playwright herself. We will meet at Stanford in Washington, 2661 Connecticut Ave., NW. Those attending must have tickets, which we will start distributing at the end of our March 24 meeting. After March 24 call Mark Gruenberg (202-638-0444). We will not accept reservations before March 24. But you can purchase tickets right now to the Thursday, May 13 8 p.m. performance of "How I Learned to Drive" at the Arena Stage, 1101 6th St., SW. Ticket prices are $24 (orchestra) & $21 (balcony) & include a post-performance cast discussion. Mail your check, payable to Footlights, to Robin Larkin, 5403 Nibud Ct., Rockville, MD 20852 (robin.larkin@erols.com).

Footlights on Stage

Congratulations to Debbie Jackson, whose play "Visitation" had its New York premiere in January. This month, Potomac Theatre presents "Chain Links," a selection of short plays including "After All," by our own Roy Berkowitz. Performances take place March 19-28 at the Bullis School, 10601 Falls Road, Potomac, MD, Fridays & Saturdays at 8 p.m. & Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $10 ($9 for students & seniors). For reservations call 301-299-8571.

A Few Words from Our Sponsors

This spring offers an opportunity to meet--& attend theater by—faculty & alumni of two of our sponsors: Cornell & the University of Chicago. Next month's guest speaker, Paula Vogel, taught at Cornell. Like Professor Frederick Lubich (February's speaker), Vogel also attended Cornell. So did University of Chicago professor Nicholas Rudall, whose new translation of Euripides' "The Trojan Women" opens March 23 at the Shakespeare Theatre, under the direction of Chicago alumna JoAnne Akalaitis. One of the theater's mightiest outcries against war, "The Trojan Women" cost Euripides his Athenian citizenship; it continues to provoke & disturb audiences today. Susan Kimmel is organizing a group to attend "The Trojan Women" at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 1. Tickets are $27 (a 32% discount). Send your check, payable to the University of Chicago Club of Washington, to Susan at 7405 Barra Dr., Bethesda, MD 20817-4608 (skimmel@compusnet.com). Professor Rudall will speak about his work on "The Trojan Women" at the annual University of Chicago Club dinner Thursday May 6. At lunch May 6 Rudall will meet with Footlights members to discuss "Lessons of Euripides: What Modern Drama Owes to the Greeks—and What It Doesn't." Watch our April e-letter for more details. You can reach the Cornell, University of Chicago, & Stanford websites through Footlights' own website, www.footlightsdc.org.

Calendar: Outsiders & Outlaws

*Wednesday, March 24: "Translations," Luna Books
*Monday, April 19: "How I Learned to Drive," Stanford in Washington
Thursday, May 13: "How I Learned to Drive," Arena Stage
*Tuesday, May 18: "The Cripple of Inishmaan," Delray Vietnamese Garden
Wednesday, June 16: "Angels in America (Part I)," Luna Books
Sunday, July 11: "Angels in America (Part I)," Signature Theatre
Thursday, July 22: "The Road to Mecca," Delray Vietnamese Garden
Sunday, August 29: "The Road to Mecca," Olney Theatre
*Changes from previous schedules.

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