Dry Land by Ruby Rae Spiegel explores controversial issues
Vegas Theatre Company (VTC) presents the Las Vegas premiere of Dry Land by Ruby Rae Spiegel, a play as gut-wrenching as it is funny and paints a truthful portrait of the fears, hopes, and bonds of teenage girls. The play will run at Vegas Theatre Company at Art Square from Sept. 14 to Oct. 2.
Ester is a swimmer trying to stay afloat. Amy is curled up on the locker room floor. Dry Land is a play about abortion, female friendship, resiliency, and what happens in one high school locker room after everybody’s left.
“I’m so passionate about this play”, says VTC’s Artistic Director Daz Weller, “it leaped off the page with a voice so ferociously youthful and honest that it demanded to be produced. Ruby Rae Spiegel fearlessly addresses the realities young women in the US face when dealing with unwanted pregnancies and has created a play that, at its heart, is about connection, loyalty, and love.”
Spiegel wrote the play when she was 21 after reading an article about the rise of DIY abortions in the US. She was also influenced by her own personal experience with a pregnancy scare that led to the more emotional core of the play.
“That feeling of intense aloneness in your own body,” says Spiegel, “that you are the only one that can do anything about this, and it is just in you. That stuck with me.” In an interview with Whatsonstage.com, Spiegel says, “I think the play is as much about abortion as it is about female friendship and loneliness. But it's not a solemn play, it has humor and darkness, the way life does. The title of the play is about safety, trying to find that safe place to swim ashore. My philosophy is that I'm trying to show the experience of abortion without shame.”
“Presenting a play like Dry Land is the core work of VTC,” says Weller, “To tell stories which lift up the voices of the marginalized. Stories that illuminate our world and encourage empathy. Stories that bring us together.”
Jasmine Kojouri and Natalie Senecal direct Juliana Renee Martin, Deseree Whitt, Karsyn Wilson, John Allen and Romeo Lopez for a Sept. 16 opening at Vegas Theatre Company at Art Square.
Scenic design is by Irene Nguyen, lighting design is by Gina Manago, sound design is by Jacob Harrell, costume design is by Arian Marie Moye, production photography is by Alicia Lee, and the production stage manager is Kamryn Shackleford.
Dry Land was developed at New York Stage and Film’s Powerhouse Summer Theater Session as well as the Ojai Playwrights Conference. It premiered at New York’s HERE Arts Center in a production by Colt Coeur. It was a 2014-15 finalist for the Susan Blackburn Prize, included on the first annual Kilroy’s List as one of the most recommended new plays by female and trans authors in 2014, reprinted in the December 2015 issue of American Theatre magazine, and is published by Dramatist’s Play Service.
Ruby Rae Spiegel’s Dry Land premiered Off-Broadway in a sold-out, critically acclaimed run at Colt Coeur, following development in New York Stage and Film’s Powerhouse Theater Readings Festival and the Ojai Playwrights Conference. A finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, the play has since gone on to be produced in over ten cities in the United States, London, Sydney, Abu Dhabi, South Korea, and more.
Vegas Theatre Company (formerly Cockroach Theatre) is one of Las Vegas' most distinguished and beloved theatre companies. From its home at Art Square in the City of Las Vegas Arts District it has produced, co-produced, facilitated, and offered its venue for the production of plays, opera, variety shows, improv, and theatre festivals. With a focus on new and neglected work, VTC has produced the regional premieres of many of the most important plays of the past two decades.
Dry Land will be presented at Vegas Theatre Company, located inside Art Square in the 18b Arts District, 1025 S1st St. Free parking is available in the lot adjacent to Art Square. Dry Land runs from Sept. 14 to Oct. 2. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Sept. 14, 16, 17, 23, 26, and 30; 2 p.m. Sept. 24 and 5 p.m. Sept. 18, 25, and Oct. 2.
Tickets start at $25, with special $20 tickets for the preview on Sept. 14. A limited number of $15 Student Rush Tickets are available at the box 1 hour before each show. For reservations and information, visit www.theatre.vegas or call (725) 222 9661