MARCH 30, 2017 BY PROMETHEAN
“2016 saw a landmark election that exposed deep divides within our country, and promised a shifting socioeconomic and political landscape. This led us to choose plays that are examples of how to respond, through the art of storytelling, to a changing political environment.”
-Brian Pastor, Artistic Director
BLISS (or Emily Post is Dead!), by Jami Brandli
A Joint World Premiere with Moving Arts at Atwater Village Theatre in Los Angeles and in Association with Moxie Theatre in San Diego
It’s 1960 in North Orange, NJ. Clytemnestra and Medea are now housewives with a pill addiction, and Antigone is the teenage girl next door who is in love with a black boy. On the surface, they’re seemingly blissful to follow the “rules” of Emily Post, the American author famous for writing on etiquette. But that’s just the surface. Then Cassandra, a black working girl, moves into their neighborhood and all routines are interrupted. Cassandra is determined to finally break the curse of Apollo, the gorgeous and egotistical god who gave her this “gift” of prophecy but made it so no one would ever believe her. He makes it clear his curse is practically indestructible: yet all she must do is convince someone to believe her. Can Cassandra convince them they now have a choice in this modern era? That they don’t have to live a doomed existence? Can all four women escape their ongoing fate?
Director Erica Vannon says of BLISS, “I find the clever entanglement of the stories of Clytemnestra, Medea, Antigone, and Cassandra set in a not too distant past where etiquette, secrets, and social norms rule the women’s lives rival the high stakes of the original stories. In fact, I see the storytelling simultaneously parallel the past, the past-past, and the very present through a 1960’s New Jersey setting to ancient Greece and into the inequality and intolerance that grips us here in 2017. The story’s emphasis on a woman’s choice to change the narrative and the undercurrents of objectification, violence, racism, sexism, as well as the “ancient rage” of women is relevant today, now, and always.”
JAMI BRANDLI’s plays include Technicolor Life, S.O.E., M-Theory, ¡SOLDADERA!, Sisters Three, A Merry Little Christmas and BLISS (or Emily Post is Dead!) which was named in The Kilroys Top 46 List in 2014. Her work has been produced/developed at New Dramatists, WordBRIDGE, The Lark, New York Theatre Workshop, Great Plains Theatre Conference, Launch Pad, The Antaeus Company, Chalk REP, The Road, among other venues. Winner of John Gassner Memorial Playwriting Award, Holland New Voices Award and Aurora Theatre Company’s GAP Prize. Technicolor Life premiered at REP Stage as part of the 2015 Women’s Voices Theater Festival. BLISS (or Emily Post is Dead!) will receive a joint world premiere with Moving Arts, Moxie Theatre and Promethean Theatre starting this fall, 2017. She’s been a finalist for the 2016 PEN Literary Award for Drama, Playwrights’ Center Core Writer Fellowship, Princess Grace Award, O’Neill National Playwrights Conference and the Disney ABC TV Fellowship and was also nominated for the Susan Smith Blackburn Award. Her short works are published with TCG and Smith & Kraus. A proud member of the Playwrights Union, the Antaeus Playwrights Lab, and The Dramatist Guild, Jami teaches dramatic writing at Lesley University’s low-residency MFA program. She is represented by the Robert A Freedman Agency and Gramercy Park Entertainment.
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