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Diana Wortham Theatre Announces Performance of The Giver

ASHEVILLE NC – Who: The American Place Theatre’s Literature to Life Stage Presentation of The Giver by Lois Lowry

When: October 23, 2012 • 8:00pm

Where: Diana Wortham Theatre at Pack Place

Ticket Prices: Regular $25; Students $20; Child $15

Student Rush day-of-the-show (with valid ID) $10

Info/Tickets: Box Office (828) 257-4530 · www.dwtheatre.com

Tickets on sale August 21st


Beloved for its ability to spark the imagination of audiences of all ages, The American Place Theatre’s Literature to Life® Series presents Lois Lowry’s Newbery Medal-winning novel The Giver in a compelling stage production at Diana Wortham Theatre on Tuesday, October 23, 2012 at 8:00 p.m. This relevant, deeply moving and beautifully directed stage adaptation performed by veteran New York actor Mara Stephens hits home as it brings The Giver to life in an atmosphere of discovery. The evening presentation of The Giver on Tuesday October 23 is in addition to three Mainstage Matinee Series performances on October 23 and 24, which are all sold out with waiting lists.

Lois Lowry’s groundbreaking tale The Giver introduces audiences to Jonas, a twelve-year-old boy living in a dystopian world where all is the same, who is selected to receive the memories of a far different life. As Jonas trains to become the Receiver of Memories, the buried truth about the world that he was born into becomes hauntingly clear to both Jonas and the audience. Featuring a popular thought-provoking interactive discussion session pre- and post-performance, The Giver challenges audience members to explore themes including individuality, ethics and social constructs.

The book, originally published in 1993, was the recipient of the 1994 Newbery Medal for Literature and is due for release as a major motion picture in 2013. A Literature to Life® Award winner, The Giver was adapted in 2009 and marked the first young adult novel on the Literature to Life® roster.  Newly adapted by Associate Artistic Director Elise Thoron, this piece features sixty minutes of solo-performance and focuses on the relationship between the young Jonas and his mentor, The Giver.

Mara Stephens is a graduate of University of Vermont and has been performing on Broadway, off Broadway and regionally for the past 15 years. Her first professional show in 1995 was “Coming Through” with The American Place Theater, directed by Wynn Handman. She was in the original cast of the Broadway musical, Titanic. Her stage career has included performances in venues and workshops across the country, and she has appeared in film and television in Law & Order, Slings & Arrows, Cold Feet, and King of the Corner.

The American Place Theatre, now in its fiftieth season, is one of the nation’s first non-commercial, Off-Broadway theaters. Conceived in 1963, the theatre has received over 30 Village Voice OBIE Awards for Off-Broadway theatrical productions and 16 Audience Development Committee (AUDELCO) Awards, which recognize excellence in black theatre. It is critically acclaimed as a birthing place for artistic endeavors at the crossroads of literature and live performance. Literature to Life®, The American Place Theatre’s performance-based literacy program that premiered in 1992, presents professionally staged verbatim adaptations of significant American literary works. This educational program gives audiences a new form of access to literature by bringing to life the world of books with compelling stage performances. Says acclaimed actress Meryl Streep of the program, “A generation of Americans is leaving reading behind. The American Place Theatre has an extraordinary program that is doing something about it.”

Intersections Book Club: The first meeting of the Intersections Book Club is October 9, 2012 at 6:30 p.m. in The Forum at Diana Wortham Theatre to discuss The Giver. The discussion is casual and provides an opportunity for book lovers to talk about the concepts of the novel and to meet fellow patrons and book lovers. The only requirement is to read the book before arriving. The discussion is open and provided free of charge to the public. Please RSVP by calling 828-210-9837 or e-mailing [email protected]

Pre-show discussions: For insight and increased enjoyment of the presentation, ticket holders can attend a free pre-performance discussion in The Forum at Diana Wortham Theatre at 7:00 p.m. before the 8:00 p.m. performance

The American Place Theatre’s Literature to Life®Asheville performance of The Giver is made possible by Performance Sponsors Carol & Bob Deutsch, and by Mainstage Theatre Series Sponsors First Citizens Bank and Ward and Smith, P.A., with additional support from Media Sponsors WCQS 88.1 FM and WNC magazine.

The Diana Wortham Theatre at Pack Place is located in the same complex as the Asheville Art Museum and the Colburn Earth Science Museum and is within walking distance of many shops and restaurants. The intimate theatre seats just over 500 and boasts exceptional acoustics and sightlines, making it the premier performance space in all of Western North Carolina. The Mainstage Series is supported by a grant from the North Carolina Arts Council, a state agency. The Mainstage Series 2012/2013 Season Sponsors are the Asheville Citizen-Times, Creative Energy, Laurey’s Catering and Gourmet-to-go, the North Carolina Arts Council, and Asheville Renaissance Hotel. To obtain more information on the Mainstage Series or to purchase tickets, call the theatre’s box office at (828) 257-4530 or visit www.dwtheatre.com.

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