oph3lia

Available in Library

A young Japanese woman comes to New York City, a complete stranger, and embarks on a mysterious journey through her memory and the anonymous city. Swept up in the rhythms of the foreign city she discovers that she can go through life without ever uttering a word.

Expatriated students in an international Christian girl’s school in China have formed their own insular hierarchy within the school walls — but the arrival of a new teacher and a transfer student threatens its delicate balance.

In the world of entertainment production cultures collide and language collapses. Compromises of artistic and personal integrity punctuate the struggle for voice and power in the creation of “art.” Cultures clash in a theater producer’s office and the translator bears the brunt.

Through three disparate, interweaving stories of disjoint and disconnection oph3lia examines the archetype and themes emerging from the character of Ophelia in Shakespeare’s Hamlet in a contemporary and international context.

Cast Requirements

10 W / 3 M
some characters have language requirements in Japanese and Spanish

Set Description

flexible

Honors

Nominated Best Ensemble at the New York Innovative Theater Awards 2009

Press

Oph3lia pulled together so many things people talk about – globalization, technology, post-modern identity, art vs. commerce, alienation of modern society, the challenges of human interaction and intimacy, the search for connection and meaning – and wove them into this beautiful, heart-breaking, hilarious, world-unto-itself. You MUST GO SEE THIS SHOW! -- Culturebot.com [read original post]

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Press

Compelling…Harrowing…What to make of the strange, feral dances the schoolgirls engage in, while singing their wordless songs? What of the playwright and the producers, riotously alive and bursting with their own stories and concerns? Both make for great theater. -- The New York Times [read original article]

A smart, beautiful, and touching production that is unpretentious and fun. I left feeling humbled and inspired, reminded why I love theatre the way I do. Do not miss this show, and once you see it, tell everyone you know. -- NYtheatre.com

Stunning… Superb… [Ogawa's] ability to translate cultural chaos to the stage in a palpable manner is rare. She jars the theatergoer out of her everyday world and allows her to vicariously experience–and empathize with–her contemporary Ophelias, who want only to be understood. Amazingly, that is just what happens in the theater. -- hotreview.com [read original article]

On her own terms, Ogawa has successfully crafted a riveting experience that succeeds because of its incredible imagery and its ability to access raw emotional territory. -- Backstage

a brilliant exploration of suspension–in time, in space, between words, and between bodies. So much so that walking out of the theatre last Thursday night I was rendered, much like the first Ophelia in this Murakami-esque work, silent. -- Obscene Jester [read original article]

Production and Development History

Developed at New York Theater Workshop, New Dramatists and HERE Arts Center.
World Premiere production 2008 at HERE Arts Center