02Feb

Finally, a Play about the Roller Coaster Ride of Raising Young Kids

The White Plains Performing Arts Center (WPPAC) is hosting the New York premiere of “The Passion of the Hausfrau”. This solo comedy show will run for eight performances only from February 3-13, 2011. There are 8:00pm shows on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and a 2:00pm show on Sunday.

The play is actually produced by my neighbor, Felicia Needleman, who I recently interviewed for a future edition of Project You.

Bess Welden (actor/writer) and Nicole Chaison (writer/cartoonist) adapted the stories, drawings and characters from Chaison’s popular Hausfrau Muthah-zine (www.thehausfrau.com) into a full-length evening of theater that made its world premier at Portland Stage Company in March 2009. “The Passion of the Hausfrau” is a laugh-out-loud comedy about a mother who discovers that the roller coaster ride of raising young kids is actually the path to creating her own masterpiece. “The Passion of the Hausfrau” is the first hero’s journey (in the classic Joseph Campbell sense) from the point of view of the mother.

Welden and Chaison wanted to show that “every mother is a hero: like James Joyce’s ‘Ulysses,’ ‘The Passion of the Hausfrau’ shows the heroism in daily life. In parenting, every day is a roller coaster of passion.” The play follows the Hausfrau (which means “housewife” in German), her husband, two children and twenty other characters (all played by one actress) as she faces each challenge on The Road of Trials. Finally, like all heroes, she must plunge into the inferno and face her own demons in order to emerge victorious and ready to fulfill her creative self. Turning the classic hero myth on its head by making the central character a middle-aged mom, the play pokes fun at the mistakes parents make with an honest and irreverent humor.

Over 100 original cartoon projections help tell the story and add an engaging visual layer that illuminates the text, much like a graphic novel. The collaboration also includes an original score by composer Hans Indigo Spencer and is directed and co-written by Emmy award-winner Annette Jolles. Bess Welden performs the 80-minute piece. Random House’s Villard imprint released Chaison’s graphic novel, also called “The Passion of the Hausfrau,” in June 2009. Find out more about the novel online at www.passionofthehausfrau.com and about the play at www.thehausfrauplay.com.

The WPPAC is located on the third level of the City Center complex off Mamaroneck Avenue in downtown White Plains. Tickets are $39/$29 for Previews. There is a 10% discount on tickets for groups of 15 or more. To purchase tickets, call Ticket Fusion at 877-548-3237, visit the theatre box office or purchase the tickets online at www.wppac.com. The White Plains Performing Arts Center, a 501(c) 3 not-for-profit organization, based in downtown White Plains, is dedicated to the presentation and production of a full spectrum of performing arts events for the City of White Plains and its surrounding communities.

Disclosure: I was not compensated for this review nor did I receive anything in exchange for it.  All opinions expressed are my own.

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