U.S. playwright to direct her work in Sydney

April 19, 2010 Agencies
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New York Jewish playwright Alana Ruben Free returns to Australia this month to direct charity performances of her powerful one-woman show “Beginner at Life”.

Alana Ruben

The celebrated autobiographical play explores her battle with – and emergence from – anorexia and depression with much humour and inspiring courage.

Beginner at Life has had productions in North America and Europe and features Sydney actress Donna Brooks, reprising her critically acclaimed performance of 2008.

There are just three performances – 8pm on Mon 26 April and Mon 3 May at the Newtown Theatre and Sunday 9 May at the Bondi Pavilion – and all will raise funds for the Butterfly Foundation, supporting Australians with eating disorders. A panel discussion follows each performance featuring the author, the actress and eating disorders psychologist Jeremy Freeman and author Melinda Hutchings.

While in Australia, Alana will also be directing rehearsed open readings of the two sequel plays that make up “The Eden Trilogy” – Fear & Desire (Sun 2 May at Emanuel Synagogue) and Black Fire/White Fire (Tues 4 May at B’nai B’rith Centre East Sydney).

“Alana Ruben Free’s script is intelligent and emotionally engaging. Donna Brooks gives a captivating performance. .. Genuinely valuable and inspiring.”  – Arts Hub Australia

The moving autobiographical one-woman show by New York playwright, Alana Ruben Free is an intensely intimate exploration about a woman’s discovery of her soul-body which inspires and challenges audiences with an uncommon honesty about coming into womanhood.  The themes of sexuality, spirituality and anorexia flow with a poetic wit and unique perspective that surprises.

Following the New York and Canadian seasons that starred the playwright, the Australian production is again performed by accomplished Australian stage & screen actress Donna Brooks.

After Eden, a young mother, walks into a yoga class and finds out that she is disconnected from her body, she embarks on a body-mind-soul exploration, that takes her from yoga to nutritionists to Club Med seeking the cause and solution. At times both witty and shocking, we find there’s a lot of Eden in all of us.

“With her fearless look at her own psyche, Alana inspires us to move into the dark places inside and come out lighter and more evolved.” – Courtney Martin, author of “Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters”

“This excellent show offers new insights into the anguish of anorexia. It resonated as truth within my body.” –  Dr Marion Woodman, “Addiction to Perfection, The Owl was a Baker’s Daughter”

Alana Ruben Free will again be visiting Sydney for the performances and leading discussion sessions with expert panelists after each show.

Monday 26 April and Monday 3 May at Newtown Theatre, Cnr King and Brays Streets

Sunday 9 May, Bondi Pavilion Theatre, Queen Elizabeth Drive Bondi Beach

Tickets $20. Bookings MCA Ticketing 1300 306 776  or online: www.mca-tix.com.au

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