Necessary Targets

 
 
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Necessary Targets is a play by American playwright, Eve Ensler, her first new work since her Obie Award-winning smash hit, The Vagina Monologues. Necessary Targets has been staged in New York by Meryl Streep, Anjelica Huston, and Calista Flockhart, and performed in Sarajevo with Glenn Close and Marisa Tomei. Necessary Targets is a groundbreaking play about women and war—about the violence of dark memories and the enduring resilience of the human spirit.

THE PLOT

This is the story of two American women, a Park Avenue psychiatrist and a human rights worker, who go to Bosnia to help women confront their memories of war and emerge deeply changed themselves. Melissa, an ambitious young writer, and J.S., a successful but unsatisfied middle-aged psychiatrist, have nothing in common beyond the methods they have been taught to distance themselves from other people. As J.S. begins to feel compassion for the women whose tragedies she has been sent to expose, she turns on Melissa, who finds safety in control. In an unexpected moment of revelation, J.S. and the women she is supposedly treating find a common ground, a place to be taught and a place to learn.

CAST & CREW

J.S. | Elizabeth Zaza Muchemwa
Melissa | Kudzai Sevenzo
Seada | Chipo Chikara
Jelena | Sandra Chidawanyika-Goliath
Azra | Brighton Ndlovu
Zlata | Patience Tawengwa
Nuna | Chiedza Chinhanu
Reader of Stage Directions | Gideon Jeph Wabvuta
Mentor Director | Julia Wharton
Playwright | Eve Ensler
Stage Manager | Prudence Kalipinde
Accounts | Kudakwashe Kanembirira
Production Assistant | Simba Kanembirira

RECEPTION

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A NOTE FROM DIRECTOR JULIA WHARTON

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Watering Two Plants with One Hose

I have never liked the expression ‘to kill two birds with one stone’ because of the suggested violence against the birds! Plus, it’s a destructive image. When I’m taking care of two tasks at once, I feel pretty constructive. So I have chosen the alternative ‘watering two plants with one hose’ in talking about my most recent Almasi project. It alludes to the nurturing aim of Almasi’s work as well as the two track focus of this initiative. Almasi is dedicated to presenting staged readings of outstanding published plays as a way to expose Zimbabwean theatre artists and audiences to a wide range of dramatic literature. Staged readings also contribute to the development of actors and playwrights – the process ensures actors know how to work carefully and thoroughly on a text and playwrights know how to tell a story in many different ways. When Almasi tasked me with launching a more regular schedule of readings, I wanted to make sure Zimbabwean theatre artists directed most of them. However, this would require some director training. So I cast the next Almasi reading (‘Necessary Targets’ by Eve Ensler) with director mentees. The idea was to create a very experiential training for the mentees. Rather than them being observers in the usual rehearsal process, each mentee would be doing the play analysis, rehearsal steps and performance – a very hands on, practical training. As I envisioned it, the end result would be two ‘plants’ – another Almasi staged reading performance and a group of director mentees ready to take on a staged reading of their own in 2015. | CONTINUE READING

 

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