Strand Theater Company welcomes Baltimore playwright, performer and theater professor Susan McCully with her three-woman show Inexcusable Fantasies, exploring, often comically, her secret and not-so-secret obsessions with Martha Stewart, Harley Davidson, and Grandma's Oil of Olay. The production is a Baltimore premiere and the second offering of the Strand 2012-13 Season, under the leadership of Artistic Director Rain Pryor. It runs November 1-17.
McCully, a scholar of feminist theater at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, wrote, produced, and stars in this autobiographical show about sexual politics, lust "over forty," cloning, eye surgery, vision, revision and the unmistakably erotic powers of Martha Stewart's marzipan. The play is directed by fellow UMBC professor Eve Muson, whose work has been seen recently at Rep Stage (Las Meninas, Speech and Debate) and with UMBC at the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (Las Meninas). The acting trio is rounded out by Wendy Salkind and Sarah Ford Gorman,
Strand Artistic Director Rain Pryor is thrilled with the new partnership at the Strand. "Eve Muson and Susan McCully are true Baltimore homegrown artists", says Pryor. "It is a privilege for the Strand to bring these two brilliant women to the community, and to show off what diverse talents we have in our city."
Inexcusable Fantasies begins with a Preview on Thursday, November 1, followed by the Opening Night on Saturday, November 3. Performances run on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays through November 17. All shows begin at 8 pm. General Admission is $20, seniors are $15, and students are $10 (with valid ID). Tickets to the preview performance are $5 and Opening Night tickets are $25.
Inexcusable Fantasies was first penned a few years ago, opening the Philadelphia Gay and Lesbian Theatre Festival in 2004. New revisions and the support of the Strand allow McCully and her team to bring the show to Baltimore audiences. "This is a thrilling time to be a theatre artist in Baltimore," says McCully "Dynamic new leadership and spaces, along with the rise of young ensemble companies fill the city with unmistakable energy toward new play development, and our show is a microcosm of all that excitement."
While Inexcusable Fantasies will make its Baltimore premiere this November, McCully is not unfamiliar to presenting new plays with strong female roles to Baltimore audiences. Over the past seven years, she has steered efforts to cultivate UMBC's Grrl Parts, a collection of new, short plays by major contemporary playwrights-including Lee Blessing, Phyllis Nagy, Caridad Svich, and Naomi Wallace-where women play both protagonist and antagonist, driving the action forward. To date, the Grrl Parts project has produced nearly 30 new works.
Grrl Parts has been twice invited to CENTERSTAGE to perform plays produced through Grrl Parts. Most recently, in March of 2012, UMBC and CENTERSTAGE partnered to create a unique performance of the most recent batch of Grrl Parts commissioned works. The evening ended with a panel discussion addressing the role of women in American theater, moderated by Susan Jonas featuring notable female playwrights Julia Jordan, Kate Moira Ryan, Tanya Saracho, and Lucy Thurber.
This season, as the UMBC Theatre Department moves into a new era with a brand new Performing Arts and Humanities building and beautiful new theatrical spaces, the Grrl Parts project will expand its activities as well. McCully and her colleagues are excited to focus their efforts on moving Inexcusable Fantasies from Baltimore to festivals around the globe, under the producing company name "Grrl Parts Productions", carrying on the ideals the project set in motion seven years ago. "Grrl Parts is really growing up this year!" says Eve Muson "We started Grrl Parts with the simple objective of creating more roles for our young actresses at school. Now, with the support of the university and the Baltimore community, we're mounting our first professional production, building a partnership with CENTERSTAGE, and commissioning full-length works, too."