Orlando, the fifth show in the School of Drama’s 2016-2017 mainstage season, explores sex, love, and identity in a story that spans centuries. Orlando is a handsome, young English nobleman favored by queens and princesses. The poem he’s trying to write isn’t going well; otherwise, he’s having a very nice life. When he consorts with a gypsy, however, things take a strange turn: he awakens from a seven-day sleep transformed into a woman…and an immortal.
Virginia Woolf’s Orlando is one of literature’s most beloved fantasies—a love letter, a biography, and an epic poem that Woolf called, “too long to be a joke and too frivolous to be taken seriously.” Sarah’s Ruhl’s dreamy adaptation is a fun, sexy, gender-bending romp through 300 years of literary history.
Orlando features vibrant music, moments of improvisation, physical exploration and performances, and an ensemble of undergraduate actors. Director Jones says, “I am looking to present this play with inspiration found in the styles that each of the two writers present. It is a dream, a romp, a carnival, and a fantasy. The story evokes a playful and profound feeling that comes from the representation of these two writer’s distinct voices.”
Master acting teacher and director L. Zane Jones serves as Artistic Director for CIVIC REP, a creative collective committed to working with classic texts and new work for the stage. CIVIC REP has produced three shows: A Streetcar Named Desire and The Two-Character Play, at New City Theater (now 18th & Union), both directed by Jones, and a lauded production of Caroline Bird’s adaptation of The Trojan Women this past January at The Slate Theatre directed by UW Drama MFA alum Leah Adcock-Starr. She studied directing and feminist theory at the University of Southern California, earning her MFA in Directing there before joining the performance faculty, on which she served from 1994 - 2012. Zane’s theatre career began in Chicago, where she earned a BFA in Acting at the conservatory formerly known as the Goodman School of Drama (now called the Theatre School at DePaul University). She has worked extensively as an actor in theatre, film, and television for over 30 years, and has directed over 30 productions at USC and in Los Angeles and Seattle, including, most recently, Seattle Opera’s production of As One. Zane was Co-Founder and Artistic Director of WORKSHOP 360, a theatre company based in Venice, California, where she directed, produced, and acted in Caryl Churchill's Vinegar Tom, Euripides' Hecuba, Karen Hartman’s Gum and The Mother of Modern Censorship, Brighde Mullins’ Fire Eater and the West Coast Premiere of Betty’s Summer Vacation by Christopher Durang.