Opening July 7 at Burning Coal Theatre, Chapel Hill-based playwright Steffi Rubin brings us The Woodstock Tontine, a play about six women who meet at Woodstock. When the first one
dies, the remaining gals decide to invest financially in their friendship by forming a tontine so the last friend standing receives a life-changing windfall. Who will inherit the tontine?
Director Lucia Foster let us in on what drew her to The Woodstock Tontine in the first place. "When Steffi Rubin told me about her play, with five strong roles for women of a “certain age,” the invitation to direct it was too appealing to deny! We know that there is a dearth of opportunities for women actors, but it is even more difficult for older women to to get good roles. When those occasions do arise, the parts are often for tottering old grandmothers or other character steeped in stereotype. The Woodstock Tontine provides an alternative reality; one with well-rounded characters, rich dialogue and comedic threads that showcase the natural humor of women and their friendships."
Foster is no novice to the theatre scene, she has been involved with theatre as a performer, educator and director for most of her adult life. She has a MA in Theatre for Development (using theatre for community building.), from the University of Winchester, UK. and for eight years ran a non-profit theatre in Chestertown Maryland, The Garfield Center for the Arts at The Prince Theatre. In her various roles, she has directed and/or produced more than 70 productions and served as an adjunct professor of Drama at Washington College for three years. I had the opportunity to direct two shows in last year’s WTF, for “The Occupy The Stage” event. This year’s festival marks my first time directing a full-length production in North Carolina.
The festival itself also speaks to Foster, "I love the mission of WTF: To create, produce, and promote extraordinary theatre by women! We all do better when women are involved in more aspects of public life, including theatrical productions and creative, collaborative festivals. It is inspiring, empowering and and creatively challenging to be part of the Women’s Theatre Festival: a group of theatre artists, both women and allies, who seek to address gender parity, diversity, & inclusion in the theatre community."
She has also been having a great time this year and would like to add that "It has been great fun to involve friends, new and old, on collaborating on a debut piece of theatre. As a team we are encouraging, inclusive, creative risk takers who are committed to producing a quality production that resonates with audiences during the performances and beyond."
Don't miss The Woodstock Tontine, opening July 7 at Burning Coal Theatre. Get your tickets by clicking here.