Elevator Repair Service will return Off-Broadway next month with the world premiere of Kate Scelsa's Everyone’s Fine With Virginia Woolf. Longtime company member Scelsa, who started with ERS as an intern 15 years ago, is making her playwriting debut with the new parody—billed as both a "loving homage and fierce, feminist take-down" of the celebrated play by Edward Albee.
“I’m not a writer and, usually, I’m depending on exciting material finding its way into our rehearsals by free association, serendipity or happy accident,” said ERS Artistic Director John Collins in a statement. “But secretly with Kate, we’ve had a playwright embedded in the company for 15 years. Kate knows the company so intimately and has written a play that not only channels their brilliance, but expertly critiques this iconic masterpiece. She tears it up and then rebuilds it. This is Martha’s revenge.”
Everyone’s Fine With Virginia Woolf will be directed Collins, and will play the Abrons Arts Center beginning June 1. The limited Off-Broadway engagement is scheduled through June 24.
The cast will be made up of ERS veterans and includes Annie McNamara as Martha, April Matthis as Honey, Mike Iveson as Nick, Vin Knight as George, and Lindsay Hockaday as Carmilla.
The creative team for Everyone’s Fine With Virginia Woolf is made up of Louisa Thompson (sets), Kaye Voyce (costumes), Ryan Seelig (lights), Ben Williams (sound), Amanda Villalobos (props), Maurina Lioce (production stage manager), and Ariana Smart Truman (producer).
Scelsa, who first joined ERS on the administrative side, later began performing in the company's shows (Gatz, The Sound and the Fury, and The Select). She is also the author of the novel Fans of the Impossible Life.
“Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? is one of my favorite plays of all time,” says the writer and performer. “And today we can look at a character like Martha through such a different lens. She has continued to capture our collective imagination for so many years because she is iconic, in some ways we can even see her as feminist, but at the end of Albee’s play she is destroyed by this idea of motherhood, of not living up to this very traditional idea of what it means to be a woman. I’m interested in asking how can we reconcile Martha’s destruction with our love of this character, and what does it say about Albee that he felt the need to destroy her? This kind of questioning homage, along with my desire to write a very passionate love letter to the company that has been my theatrical home for the past 15 years, resulted in this play.”