By Seth Fera-Schanes
I was invited to attend the New York City premiere of They Call Me Arethusa this week at The Tank in midtown Manhattan. I had the opportunity to sit down with director and designer Mark Kennedy and Colie McClellan, writer and solo performer in advance of opening night this Friday.
Mark and Colie first started working on They Call Me Arethusa one year ago in January, 2014. The show debuted in Charleston, South Carolina at the Piccolo Spoleto Festival in May of that same year. The production was then taken to the FringeArts Festival in Philadelphia that September before making its way to New York City this week.
Both Mark and Colie have careers in theater with Colie having received her Masters of Fine Arts (MFA) from Rutgers University and Mark previously working with the Pig Iron Theatre Company (based in Philadelphia.) Mark has worked on Chekhov Lizardbrain which won an Obie Award. He also directed and produced Othello, Desdemona, & Iago Walk Into A Bar.
They Call Me Arethusa is a one-person show written by and starring Colie McClellan. The play focuses on stories of 7 different women who have experienced intimate partner violence. Colie uses Arethusa, a figure in Greek mythology, as a conduit to share these women’s’ stories. ‘This spokenwordstyle docudrama exposes the devastation laid by intimate partner violence through the voices of modern women and their mythological sisters’ – Arethusa Speaks website.
The production is scheduled for three days with showtimes on Friday, January 23 at 7pm, Saturday the 24th at 7pm and closing on Sunday the 25th with a 3pm showtime. The play has a run time of 55 minutes. Arethusa Speaks, with a mission to focus on survivors of intimate partner violence, is producing this play.
Tickets are $18 and can be purchased through The Tank website.