Zellstock: A Mini-Fest of David Zellnik Plays

HIT PLAYWRIGHT HITS THE STAGE AGAIN AT READERS THEATRE REPERTORY

In April, Readers Theatre Repertory returns to an old friend who’s found new favor in Portland: playwright David Zellnik. Wendy Wilcox directs two Zellnik plays, For Elise and Mohammed and the Sleeping Cat.

“We staged a Zellnik play in 2003 called A Killing Hand,” says Wilcox. “We fell in love with the playwright and his work then, and have always wanted to do more.” With the recent acclaimed production of Zellnik’s Let a Hundred Flowers Bloom at Defunkt Theatre, RTR decided to share more of this master writer’s work with Portland. “We had a chance to catch up with David when he was here for Hundred Flowers, and together we chose two wonderful one-acts for our stage.”

A hit at Ensemble Studio Theatre’s flagship festival, the Marathon of One Act Plays, For Elise finds a 90-year-old woman from the old world and a gay 30-something from the new one at a Hasidic wedding reception, on the outside looking in. In Mohammed and the Sleeping Cat, time and relationships are explored as Jacob and Max look in; look back; and look forward.

David Zelnik says “I’m so thrilled to be back at Readers Theatre Rep with these two one acts. Both these plays are incredibly personal for me… actually among the most personal works I’ve written. They are both about the long experience of love, about finding joy in the family you have, the choices you’ve made. Both draw on my own family: the love and dreamlife inside a long-term relationship in Mohammed and the Sleeping Cat and on my real Aunt Alice in For Elise, who at age 90 lived to see my cousin embrace a newly religious Jewish identity that (in certain light) seemed like a rebuke to her more secular Viennese upbringing.”

To hear the playwright discuss For Elise: http://bit.ly/NL5GLU

The cast includes David Berkson and Wendy Westerwelle, and Chris Beatty

Chris Beatty and David Berkson in Mohammed and the Sleeping Cat

Chris Beatty and David Berkson in Mohammed and the Sleeping Cat

Wendy Westerville in For Elise

Wendy Westerwelle in For Elise

Chris Beatty, Wendy Westerville, and David Berkson in For Elise

Chris Beatty, Wendy Westerwelle, and David Berkson in For Elise

Chris Beatty in For Elise

Chris Beatty in For Elise

David Berkson in For Elise

David Berkson in For Elise

See our Facebook page for the whole album

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