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Santa Monica Rep Kicks off Reading Series with Play About Gender Politics


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By Lookout Staff

July 11, 2017 -- Santa Monica Rep is bringing its popular play reading series back to The Edye for a second season with "Rapture, Blister, Burn," a 2013 finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, on Sunday.

Now in their seventh year of presenting play readings to the community, Santa Monica Rep Reads provides audiences with "an opportunity to engage in a direct and ongoing conversation about relevant and enduring themes," event organizers said.

The theme Gina Gionfriddo's "Rapture, Blister, Burn," which will be presented at 4 p.m., "is an unflinching look at gender politics in the wake of 20th century feminist ideals," organizers said.

Rapture Blister Burn PosterPoster Courtesy King's Town Players

The theme Gina Gionfriddo's "Rapture, Blister, Burn," which will be presented at 4 p.m., "is an unflinching look at gender politics in the wake of 20th century feminist ideals, organizers said.

The play focuses on Catherine, who built a career as a rock star academic, and Gwen, who married the sweetheart Catherine gave up to pursue her career.

"Decades later, unfulfilled in polar opposite ways, each woman covets the other's life, commencing a dangerous game of musical chairs -- the prize being Gwen's husband," according to the Dramatists Play Service, which publishes affordable editions of plays.

In his 2012 review, New York Times drama critic Charles Isherwood called "Rapture, Blister, Burn," "intensely smart" and "immensely funny."

"Over late afternoon martinis, four women representing three generations dive into a freewheeling conversation about how women’s lives have and have not changed since the 1970s," Isherwood wrote. "What’s exciting about (Gionfriddo's) writing here is the multiplicity of the ideas it engages.

"Heady with sharp-witted dialogue about the particularities of women’s experience (there’s a joke about pornography and Google maps -- believe it or not -- that’s worth the ticket price alone), 'Rapture' more largely illuminates how hard it can be to forge both a satisfying career and a fulfilling personal life."

A discussion with SMC Theatre Arts Professor Perviz Sawoski follows Sunday's reading.

Sunday's performance is part of a summer-long Play Reading series produced by Santa Monica Rep, a professional ensemble that has partnered with the Santa Monica Library since 2010 to present classic and contemporary plays with relevant themes.

Santa Monica Rep Reads is made possible in part by gifts from James & Laura Maslon and the Attias Family Foundation.

The Eli & Edythe Broad Stage is located at 1310 11 Street in Santa Monica. For ticket and subscription information, visit or call (310) 434-3200.


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