A deeply truthful portrait of the fears, hopes and bonds of teenage girls, Outhouse Theatre Co and Mad March Hare join forces to present the Australian premiere of Ruby Rae Spiegel riveting play, Dry Land at the Kings Cross Theatre (KXT) from 28 July 2017.
Ester is a swimmer trying to stay afloat. Amy is curled up on the locker room floor. Dry Land is a play about female intimacy and resiliency. And, what happens in one high school locker room after everybody’s left.
Set in the locker room of a Florida high school, Dry Land is a haunting new play about female friendship and abortion. While Spiegel does not flinch in her exploration of these themes, she has written a play that, at its core, is about connection, loyalty and love.
Inspired by a 2012 article, The Rise of DIY Abortions (New Republic), Dry Land was written when Spiegel was just twenty-one, and has created a huge stir amongst critics and audiences across the US and London. “I was really shocked,” Spiegel said in an interview. “This article looked at how American abortion rights are being rolled back: clinics are disappearing and young women across America have to resort to these self- abortion means.”
But it was a brief pregnancy scare that led to the more emotional core of the play – “That feeling of intense aloneness in your own body—that you are the only one that can do anything about this – and it is just in you. That stuck with me.”
Acclaimed Sydney director, Claudia Barrie (Bengal Tiger At The Baghdad Zoo, Belleville, Shivered) directs an ensemble cast of exciting, emerging newcomers to the Sydney theatre scene including: Sarah Meacham (The Laden Table), Patricia Pemberton (recent ACA graduate), Michelle Ny (Top Of The Lake) and Charles Upton (The Little Dog Laughed).
“Every now and then you come across the play that leaves you reeling,” says Barrie. “… excited, shocked and moved by the ideas, possibilities and story that you have read or seen. This is one of those plays. Rarely have I come across a female story told with such empathy, honesty and complexity.”
“We watch these vulnerable, complicated young girls navigate their insecurities, fears and flaws. It captures female adolescence on the cusp of change with hilarious, harrowing and profoundly moving authenticity. I don’t think Sydney has seen a play quite like Dry Land.”
“Few things are as bracing as the shock of new talent. In 10 years… you’ll be able to say you were there for Ruby Rae Spiegel’s first full-length play.” – New York Post
Director: Claudia Barrie Featuring: Sarah Meacham, Michelle Ny, Patricia Pemberton, Charles Upton Producers: Jeremy Waters and Claudia Barrie
Kings Cross Theatre, 244 – 248 William Street, Kings Cross (Sydney)
Season: 1 – 19 August 2017 (previews: 28 – 30 July)
Information and Bookings: www.kingsxtheatre.com
Image: Dry Land – photo by Michael Booth