By SARAH SHMERLING | Editor-in-Chief
Pacific Palisades’ Getty Villa will present a free virtual play-reading of “Pandora” available between February 26 and March 19.
Co-produced with TheatreWorks Silicon Valley, Laurel Ollstein’s play retells the story of Pandora’s Box from a feminist perspective, asking questions like: “What if a woman was suddenly created and dropped into the middle of the world now? Someone with no preconceived notions of anything—like beauty, love or violence? And what if the rest of humanity and the gods could suddenly see the world through those clear eyes?”
Ollstein, an award-winning writer, director and teacher, has penned plays like “They Promised Her the Moon,” which was seen onstage at TheatreWorks Silicon Valley in March of last year, as well as “Esther’s Moustache,” “Dorothy Parker is in the Bath, “Unhappily Married in Valencia” and more.
“The Getty Villa is a gorgeous jewel in Los Angeles, and I am honored to collaborate with them on this reading of ‘Pandora,’” Ollstein shared in a statement. “This workshop presentation enabled me to continue digging into this play that is incredibly relevant to the present times. The Pandora’s Box myth may be well known, but in this retelling, women don’t take the blame anymore.”
TheatreWorks Silicon Valley, led by Artistic Director Tim Bond and Executive Director Phil Santora, is a Palo Alto-based theater company that serves more than 100,000 patrons in a typical year and “has captured a national reputation for artistic innovation and integrity,” according to a statement.
“Since its founding in 1970, TheatreWorks Silicon Valley has become one of the nation’s leaders in cultivating and producing new musicals and plays, developing and premiering 70 works by new and veteran artists and 173 Regional Premieres,” the statement continued. “The company’s New Works Festival and Writers’ Retreat programs attract authors and composers of national stature, providing an artistic home in which America’s theater artists can create new works.”
“Pandora” is part of the Getty Villa’s theater program, which includes presenting reinterpretations of Greek and Roman classical plays through mediums like play-readings, theater labs, premiere presentations and an annual outdoor theater production. Though the museum has been closed for nearly a year to visitors in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, online programming has continued to be offered.
The pre-recorded play-reading launches at 5 p.m. on February 26 and will be available to view until March 19 at 11:59 p.m.
Advanced registration is required to receive a password for viewing, which can be done at getty.edu/museum/programs/performances/pandora.html.
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