June 2003

Haunted by Henrik

On Wednesday, June 11, for only the third time in eight years, Footlights will revisit a playwright when we discuss "Ghosts" (1881), by Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906). "One of the most powerful and disturbing plays in dramatic history" (New York Post), "Ghosts" depicts the agony of a philanderer's widow--long protective of her late husband's reputation--who must now confront his legacy of disease, both physical & spiritual. "Profound" (Village Voice), "darkly brilliant" (Washington Post), "terrifying" (New York Herald Tribune), yet with "wicked humour" (Guardian), "Ghosts" is a "masterpiece" (New Republic), "one of the greatest tragedies of all literature" (New York Times).

Director Edwin Sherin will lead our discussion. In the 1960s Sherin served as associate producing director at Arena Stage, where he directed Arena's world premiere of "The Great White Hope" (1967). From 1994-2000, he produced the Emmy Award-winning television series "Law & Order," for which he still sometimes directs. He has taught at Bennington College, Boston University, Columbia University, & (most recently) Florida State University, among others. Sherin's own adaptation of "Ghosts," in which he will direct his wife Jane Alexander, runs at the Shakespeare Theatre June 3-July 27.

We'll meet at Luna Books, 1633 P St., NW (202-332-2543), three blocks east of Dupont Circle. Dinner starts at 6:30 p.m.; our discussion ends at 9:30. Make reservations by calling 202-898-4825 (24 hours/day) or e-mailing [email protected]. Call soon; we're about to start a waiting list. Arrive early: latecomers may have to eat elsewhere. "Ghosts," in the collection "Ibsen: Four Major Plays volume II," haunt Backstage Books, 545 8th St., SE, & also (for a Footlights discount) Politics & Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave., NW, & Olsson's Books & Records, 1307 19th St., NW, & 7647 Old Georgetown Rd., Bethesda.

Great Shakespeare's "Ghosts"

On Saturday, June 28, Footlights will attend the 2 p.m. matinee of "Ghosts" at Shakespeare Theatre, 450 7th St., NW (Gallery Place metro). Tickets are $26 or $31 & include a post-show discussion with Joan Templeton, author of "Ibsen's Women" (2001). We must receive payment by June 11 & can't issue refunds. Mail your check to Robin Larkin, 5403 Nibud Ct., Rockville, MD 20852 (240-669-6300 & [email protected]).

"Women" Ends "Triumphant"

Our season-long series "Women at the Footlights" will end Monday, July 14, with a "delectable" play (London Daily Mail) acclaimed by the critics at its "triumphant" 1908 premiere (London Daily Chronicle). In "Diana of Dobson's," by Cicely Hamilton (1872-1952), a sweatshop worker with an unexpected inheritance spends it all on a month at a high-class resort frequented by eligible bachelors. It's "clever" & "illuminating" (World), "bright" & "well-written" (London Daily Express), "witty" & "heartbreaking" (New York Post), & "surprisingly fresh entertainment" even today (New York Times). Playwright Cicely Hamilton also wrote the influential polemic "Marriage as a Trade" (1909). Our discussion will feature Alisa Palmer, Canada's foremost feminist director, whose production of "Diana of Dobson's" runs June 3-October 4 at the Shaw Festival, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. For tickets or further information call 800-511-SHAW or visit

A Footlights Celebration

To commemorate Footlights' eighth birthday, & the 50th birthday of its founder, Susan Kimmel will host a Footlights Celebration 7:30 p.m., Saturday, May 31, at 7405 Barra Dr., Bethesda. We'll have entertainment, food & drink, & fabulous door prizes, including tickets donated by some of our favorite theaters. Bring your checkbook: we'll be encouraging contributions towards helping Footlights continue past this season. To RSVP or for more information, call 301-229-3037 or e-mail [email protected]. If you can't attend but would like to help Footlights survive, send your tax- deductible contribution (payable to "Footlights") to Susan Kimmel, 7405 Barra Dr., Bethesda, MD 20817.

Looking Forward, Looking Back

In December 2001, playwright Ernie Joselovitz joined us to discuss his work-in-progress, "Shakespeare, Moses, and Joe Papp." At the May 5 Helen Hayes Awards, "Joe Papp" won the 2002 Charles MacArthur Award for Outstanding New Play. Don't miss our next award-winner! We may still have a few tickets left for the 2 p.m. Sunday, June 8 performance of "The Rainmaker" at Center Stage, 700 N. Calvert St. in downtown Baltimore. We can arrange transportation. Tickets cost $22 & include a post-show discussion. Contact Robin Larkin (301-897- 9314 & [email protected]) to ask about availability. We'll have dinner afterwards at the nearby Akbar Indian Restaurant, 823 N. Charles St.

Dinner Discussions

Wednesday, June 11: "Ghosts," Luna Books 
Monday, July 14: "Diana of Dobson's," Luna Books

Theater Trips

Sunday, June 8: "The Rainmaker," Center Stage 
Saturday, June 28: "Ghosts," Shakespeare Theatre

More Information

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