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'The Handmaid's Tale' to be Performed at Barber Theater

Adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s novel is a Masters-in-the-Making Series production

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March 3, 2010 | by Judy Moore
"The Handmaid's Tale" will be performed at the Ethel M. Barber Theater from March 5 through 14. Adapted by Northwestern Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) directing student Catherine Miller Hardy, the play is the third and final drama in the winter 2010 Masters-in-the-Making series, which highlights the talent of budding directors.

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Novelist Margaret Atwood's acclaimed "The Handmaid's Tale" will be brought to life in a premiere staging at the Theatre and Interpretation Center at Northwestern University March 5 to 14.

Adapted by Northwestern Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) directing student Catherine Miller Hardy, "The Handmaid's Tale" is a futuristic story about one woman's struggle for freedom in a totalitarian world. The play is the third and final drama in the winter 2010 Masters-in-the-Making series, which highlights the talent of budding directors.

Performances will take place at 8 p.m. Friday, March 5; 8 p.m. Saturday, March 6; 2 p.m. Sunday, March 7; 8 p.m. Thursday, March 11; 8 p.m. Friday, March 12; 8 p.m. Saturday, March 13; and 2 p.m. Sunday, March 14, at the Ethel M. Barber Theater, 30 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston campus. Post-show discussions with members of the cast and creative team will follow the March 7 matinee and March 11 evening performances.

"The Handmaid's Tale" is the story of Offred, a young woman living in the Republic of Gilead, which was, until recently, the United States. One of the few remaining fertile women, she is given to a wealthy and powerful couple to bear "their" children. As weeks stretch into months in this severe and strange world, Offred must preserve the life she knew and face her complicity in what her life has become.

"This play is a warning, but it is not an exaggeration," said M.F.A. student director Miller Hardy. "Margaret Atwood has called ‘The Handmaid's Tale' speculative fiction, a possible iteration of the future based on current events and trends. While we are tempted to write off this world as extreme or outrageous, to do so would be a terrible miscalculation."

"The Handmaid's Tale" will feature a cast of 15 Northwestern student actors, accompanied at points by the original music recordings of undergraduate composer Sarah Curzi. The two-act play runs two hours and 40 minutes, including a 15-minute intermission. It is recommended for audiences aged 16 and older because of its mature content.

Ticket prices are $15 for the general public; $12 for seniors 65 and older, Northwestern faculty and staff and area educators and administrators; and $10 for full-time students. Tickets may be purchased through the TIC Box Office at (847) 491-7282 or online at www.tic.northwestern.edu.