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Mad Girl's Love Song

Honors Thesis Project

Mad Girl's Love Song

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September 26, 2007-The Department of Theater presents Mad Girl's Love Song, Thursday through Saturday, October 4th through 6th at 8 pm in the Frear Ensemble Theater, Lang Performing Arts Center. Conceived, written and performed by Senior Honors Theater student Rachel Sugar '08 and directed by Kym Moore, Love Song asks: what happens when the boundary between life and art dissolves? "Dying is an art/ Like everything else," wrote poet Sylvia Plath. Using the art they made from their lives and the lives they drew from their art, Mad Girl's Love Song takes us to the house where Plath, her husband Ted Hughes, and his mistress Assia Wevill became inexorably tangled together. As the three grow haunted by the ghosts of each other and their pasts, Love Song asks what it means to be a woman and an artist.

In the summer of 2007, Kym and Rachel began collaborating on what has become Love Song. In a biography of Plath, they found the phrase that sparked the work: "[Assia] was so beautiful, and kept on talking about Sylvia, and I thought that she has serious identity problems, and is breaking down...she had no chance, she was doomed from the start. Professionally I would say she had a counter-phobic reaction, and wanted to demonstrate that she was not afraid of Sylvia's demon. For her own good, she would have been much better off not to sleep in Sylvia's bed." Armed with a vision for a piece that grappled with the two women's quests for identity and authorship, Kym and Rachel began to generate material using Anne Bogart's Viewpoints and the writings of Plath, Hughes, Wevill, and their biographers. In its current incarnation, the script of Love Song is a collage of original and found texts, shaped into a single story.

Rachel Sugar is a senior Theater major with minors in English Literature and Interpretation Theory. At Swarthmore, she has appeared in assorted performance projects including collective creations Things You Shouldn't Discuss, Hans Lied, and Serata Futurista, as well as The Bacchai, Days and Nights Within, Spring Awakening and as a member of the improv comedy group Vertigo-go. Beyond Swarthmore, Rachel has trained at the Moscow Art Theater, Shakespeare & Company, Interlochen Center for the Arts, and the Detroit Second City. She spent the summer of 2006 working as a dramaturg at Washington, D.C.'s Arena Stage.

Kym Moore, a visiting professor who resides in Mount Vernon, New York, has collaborated with Rachel throughout the process of devising Mad Girl's Love Song. Kym comes to Swarthmore after directing plays off-Broadway and in regional theatres including Penumbra Theatre, HereArts Center, The Women's Project, The Boston Center for the Arts, Urban Stages, CAP 21 and Stage West. As founding Director of the Frogs on the Water Theater in New Mexico she produced and directed new works by solo performers Le Thi Diem Thuy, Collin Chase and Janice Simmons. Kym has been nominated for the Alan Schneider Directing Award by the Theatre Communications Group. She is the winner of the 2003 Pen and Brush Award for her one-act play, The Date, which is published in the African American Review. Kym earned her M.F.A. in Directing at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, and currently teaches acting and directing in the Conservatory of Theatre Arts and Film at SUNY Purchase College. She is an associate member of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers.

The performances are free and open to the public without reservations. A reception will follow all performances. For more information call (610) 328-8260 or email

Location: Frear Ensemble Theatre
Dates: October 4, 2007 - October 6, 2007
Times: October 4-6, 2007 at 8 pm