Devil in the Dirt, created and performed by Daria Harper and directed by Mary Ann Thebus, is set for just three shows at Redtwist Theatre, Saturday, August 4, 2012 at 3pm; Sunday, August 5, 2012 at 7:30pm; and Saturday, August 18, 2012 at 7:30pm. All tickets are $20.
Mary Ann Thebus directs this special, new work. A one-woman show, simple and audacious, funny and irreverent, with southern roots, more Flannery O'Connor, less Opie's Mayberry.
For too many, and too often, our heroes are men. Women are left out of this mythology.
Meet Cindy. Up close and personal. She won't be on Dateline, 20/20, 60 Minutes, or any of today's reality shows. She is the matriarch, for women who sit on their hands and put up with too much "crap." She is salt of the earth, blue collar, mother, sister, daughter, housecleaner and no doubt, has never been given this much airtime.
Who you'll meet, is a comic guide into the dark side of poverty, pretension, and the pervasive annoyance of male chauvinism. Cindy may not have attained enlightenment, yet, but she's kicking ass and taking names.
Actress Daria Harper states, "It is my honor to bring Cindy's story, feats and attitudes to the stage. Having spent hours with this very real and courageous woman and received her stories I still remain in awe. Cindy's view is direct, she's a straight shooter, and she's seen things that, if you read the parenting guides, no one is supposed to see."
Don't worry! This is not therapy! No one laughs harder and louder than Cindy. There will be no answers, religion, nor easy fixes. There will be the sacred space of telling an amazing true-life tale that reminds us again of the human pilgrimage toward progress.
Daria's passion for theatre has led her to many great teachers and the study of a wide variety of theatre styles. Along the way she became aware of the work of Anna Devere Smith and through her inspiration and an auspicious meeting of Cindy, this piece was born. It had it's first debut at the University of Virginia in 2011 as a thesis project, followed by a short run at the Earl Hamner Theatre, VA. Now, in development and under the skilled guidance of Mary Ann Thebus it is finding it's second pair of "sea legs."
Devil in the Dirt is a true story that I hope fits snuggly with Redtwist's goals which strives "to do white hot drama, from name-brand blockbusters, to risky new work, and obscure buried treasures, that pack emotional force, examine moral dilemmas, and reveal greater truths..." It is a unique examination into the world of moral dilemmas that attempts to reveal the truth of our humanity through the oddest mixture of living with the good, the bad and the ugly.
Director Mary Ann Thebus is an actress who over the past 30 years has appeared on most local stages here in Chicago. She is a frequent Jeff nominee and the recipient of a 2002, After Dark Award. She was most recently seen in Elizabeth Rex at Chicago Shakespeare, After the Revolution at the Next Theatre and can be seen currently, in Three Sisters at Steppenwolf Theatre. She has multiple film and TV credits and is a teacher of acting both at The Artistic Home and privately. Mary Ann has ventured into this small but choice theatrical event because of the quality of the story, it's potential for a stage-worthy life and her interest in expanding her directorial wings.
Actor/Writer Daria Harper is new to the Chicago theatre scene. She moved here last fall from Charlottesville, Virginia where she enjoyed many roles in local theatres, such as Amanda in The Glass Menagerie, Stevie in The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?, Mrs. Gottlieb in Dead Man's Cell Phone and Bella in Lost in Yonkers. Since here arrival, she has enjoyed performing for Rendition Theatre in Anna Christie, BoHo Theatre in Tartuffe and working for Redtwist Theatre in The Cripple of Inishmaan as understudy for Kate and with TimeLine in their upcoming production of 33 Variations, understudying the roles of Katherine and Gertie. Daria is also a certified Alexander Technique Teacher with a private practice in Edgewater/Northside Chicago. She received her AT certification in London in 1982 and has been a director of an AmSAT AT Teacher's Training Course in Virginia for the past 24 years. She obtained her MFA in Acting in 2011 from the University of Virginia and a BFA in acting from Carnegie Mellon University in 1978. She will open a Chicago based AT Teacher's Training Course (The ATTIC) this September and is thrilled to be finding her place in the thriving acting community of the great city of Chicago.