Arts & Leisure

Experience the whimsy and depth of ‘Orlando’ at Wright Memorial Theater

The Middlebury College Department of Theatre will present “Orlando,” Sarah Ruhl’s adaptation of Virginia Woolf’s famous novel, directed by Cláudio Medeiros, on May 2, 3 and 4, at 7:30 p.m., in Wright Memorial Theater. Picture, from left, are Lisandra Tusen, Ryan Ulen, Cole Newman, Elsa Marrian, Zeph Santiago, Norah Santoni de Castro, Jamie Schwartz, Arthur Lyu Photo / Courtney Smith

The Middlebury College Department of Theatre will present “Orlando,” Sarah Ruhl’s adaptation of Virginia Woolf’s famous novel, directed by Cláudio Medeiros, on May 2, 3 and 4.

Orlando, a wealthy young English nobleman, joins the court of Queen Elizabeth I as her lover. However, quickly tired of the pleasures of court life, Orlando embarks on a journey to discover himself as a poet and lover. While in Constantinople, he falls asleep for an entire week and wakes up as a woman. Her new gender demands a new relationship with society. Her quest for happiness is far from over. Across five centuries, Orlando attempts to sort out her existence and find the true meaning of her magnificent life.

Woolf wrote “Orlando” as a tribute to her lesbian lover, Vita Sackville-West, who was the inspiration for the title character. Described as “the longest and most charming love letter in literature,” the novel is a delightful, poignant, and often hilarious examination of the timelessness and complexity of gender, and the fluidity of gender preferences. Sarah Ruhl deftly maintains the joyful and whimsical nature of the novel, while giving appropriate weight to its deeper moments. “Orlando” was first produced at Classic Stage Company in 2010. Since then, Ruhl’s adaptation has been produced around the world.  It is currently playing at Signature Theatre in New York City.

“Orlando” will be performed on Thursday, May 2, Friday, May 3 and Saturday, May 4 at 7:30 p.m., in Wright Memorial Theatre in Middlebury. Join a lively post-show talk back and discussion following the Friday evening performance. The performance runs approximately 130 minutes with an intermission.

Tickets are $15 for the general public; $10 for Middlebury College faculty, staff, alumni, emeriti, and other ID card holders; $8 for youth under 21 from the general public; and $5 for Middlebury College students. For tickets or information, call 802-443-MIDD (6433) or visit middlebury.edu/college/box-office. Wright Memorial Theatre is located at 96 Chateau Road in Middlebury, with free parking available just off Shannon Street.

From left to right: Ryan Ulen, Lisandra Tusen, Norah Santoni de Castro, Jamie Schwartz, Zeph Santiago, Elsa Marrian, Cole Newman, Arthur Lyu
Photo / Courtney Smith

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