by Audrey Cefaly
directed by Joe Calarco
Originally produced at Signature Theatre,
September 13 to Novmenber 06, 2016
About the Premiere Production:
Synopsis: Dive into a funny and fierce world premiere comedy that transforms Signature's ARK Theatre into a steamy southern waterway.
Betty and Kendra waste away a languid summer day fishing on the Alabama Delta. Suddenly, their lazy afternoon turns to chaos when the motor breaks, stranding the two, and their tumultuous relationship, in The Gulf.
Director of New Works Joe Calarco (The Flick) helms this provocative contemporary comedy, starring Rachel Zampelli and Maria Rizzo, by the exciting DC playwright Audrey Cefaly (Maytag Virgin).
Artistic Statement: The Gulf was one of five plays selected from local Washington, DC area playwrights from more than 88 submissions for Signature’s SigWorks: New Play Reading Series program. It is an important play by an important new voice in the theater. Cefaly is a southern playwright, and The Gulf is a funny, flirty and provocative comedy with a splash of southern charm.
Cefaly’s voice is unique. She’s a true southern writer who has a beauty and authenticity to her language that you don’t often see. The two women in The Gulf are so raw and funny and honest. In addition to being a smart, fresh voice for the theater, producing The Gulf at Signature helps address one of the most pressing issues facing our field – the lack of works by female writers that are receiving full productions, particularly at the country’s largest theaters."
Grant Statement: Cefaly will spend a significant amount of time in rehearsal exploring the text and re-writing The Gulf in collaboration with Calarco, the cast, and the show’s design team. Signature’s rehearsal period is four weeks, which is typical for a full production of an established play but does not allow significant time to be devoted to script development for a world premiere. The Gulf was initially developed as a short play, which won the 40th Annual Samuel French OOB (Off Off-Broadway) festival, and Cefaly will be working to finish expanding her script into a full-length play.
The Edgerton Foundation New Play Award for The Gulf will assist Signature in providing resources for an additional week of previews in which the playwright and creative team can continue to make improvements and changes prior to the official opening and critical reviews. This is especially crucial because The Gulf is a comedy; the playwright and production will benefit enormously from having audience response to help shape the script."
Cast: Maria Rizzo, Rachel Zampelli
Set Designer: Paige Hathaway
Lighting Designer: Andrew Cissna
Sound Designer: Kenny Neal
Fight Choreographer: Casey Kaleba
Dialect Coach: Zach Campion