‘Orlando’ adaptation coming to Shea Theater in Turners Falls

Linda Tardif has the title role in the play “Orlando,” which will be performed at the Shea Theater Arts Center in Turners Falls on May 30, May 31 and June 1.

Linda Tardif has the title role in the play “Orlando,” which will be performed at the Shea Theater Arts Center in Turners Falls on May 30, May 31 and June 1. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/ALEXIA COTA

Linda Tardif has the title role in the play “Orlando,” which will be performed at the Shea Theater Arts Center in Turners Falls on May 30, May 31 and June 1.

Linda Tardif has the title role in the play “Orlando,” which will be performed at the Shea Theater Arts Center in Turners Falls on May 30, May 31 and June 1. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/ALEXIA COTA

Staff Report

Published: 05-29-2024 2:38 PM

TURNERS FALLS — Eggtooth Productions and the Shea Theater Arts Center will present Sarah Ruhl’s adaptation of Virginia Woolf’s “Orlando” on May 30, May 31 and June 1, at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are $20 at sheatheater.org or at the door. VIP tickets for the first two rows are $45 and will feature some immersive elements.

Directed by Linda McInerney, artistic director of Eggtooth Productions, and featuring the Shea Theater’s Linda Tardif in the title role, “Orlando” follows the story of a nobleman who is drawn into a love affair with Queen Elizabeth I. For a time, life at court is interesting enough, but Orlando yearns for something more. His travels through time and space keep him at the heart of a tale where gender and gender freedom shift regularly. Though humorous, the play is also heartfelt and moving, as Orlando seeks liberation through art, identity, gender and time.

The play serves as an adaptation of Woolf’s 1928 novel.

“Woolf apparently wrote Orlando with more joy, buoyancy and speed than any of her other novels,” Ruhl wrote in a statement. “The character of Orlando, based on Virginia’s lover Vita Sackville-West, famously begins life as a man in the Elizabethan era, trots through a couple more centuries, dodging various lovers, and in the 18th century, after a long sleep, wakes up a woman.

“Orlando was light years ahead of its time in terms of its expansive, fluid, liberatory views of gender and sexuality,” Ruhl continued. “Conversations around gender have changed monumentally in the culture since I first adapted this novel in 1998.”

The cast includes Kyle Boatwright, Lindel Hart and Rich Vaden, with Joe Dulude II as Queen Elizabeth. The production features lighting design by John Bechtold and costumes by Christina Beam. Nikki Beck is stage manager and the bird sculpture/puppet is designed by Josh Ruder.

“Orlando” is made possible through contributions from the Markham-Nathan Fund for Social Justice, the Montague Cultural Council, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, Parker on Main of Greenfield and Plum Boutique of Northampton.

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