Mrs. Shirley Bradshaw feels stuck in the same old house with the same boring husband. When she accepts an invitation to join a friend in Greece, she discovers somebody she forgot about: her true self, Shirley Valentine. The Ojai Art Center Theater’s 2020 season takes off with this life-affirming production, January 24 through February 16.
From Tony award-winning playwright Willy Russell (Educating Rita and Blood Brothers), Shirley Valentine inspires every woman who ever found herself frustrated with her life. Shirley contends with her own empty-nester syndrome, coupled with her husband Joe’s obsessive-compulsive disorder. On a Greek beach overlooking sparkling water, Shirley encounters a vastly different lifestyle complemented by romantic spice. The experience opens a window to her long-lost identity.
The one-woman show stars Anna Kotula, who worked with director Steve Grumette to combine the depth of a seminal female character with a humorous self-deprecating housewife. Anna produced the show with Richard Sven Shelgren, and incorporated set design by Bianca Rice.
“I feel deeply grateful to all who came together to bring this production to fruition,” Anna said. “Because 2020 marks the hundredth anniversary of women’s suffrage. Shirley Valentine became an obvious choice, since it celebrates female independence.”
Tickets available at https://www.ojaiact.org.