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Rapture, Blister, Burn

Rapture, Blister, Burn
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: Gina Gionfriddo
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 70
Pub. Date: 2014
ISBN-10: 0822229994
ISBN-13: 9780822229995
Cast Size: 4 female, 1 male

About the Play:

Finalist for the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Drama

Rapture, Blister, Burn is a full-length comedy by Gina Gionfriddo. Can any woman have it all? Rapture, Blister, Burn centers around the life choices of two girlfriends from grad school: One is a successful but lonely academic, while the other has built a home with a husband and children. Decades later, the women reconnect and both rethink their choices, with surprising and sometimes hilarious results. Sparks fly and the age-old question arises: what do women really want?

Rapture, Blister, Burn follows two successful women on radically opposing trajectories. After grad school, Catherine pursued a career as a feminist academic who soon became a literary rock-star and favourite of the pundit circuit, while her college friend Gwen decided to build a loving home with her husband and children. Catherine has returned home to care for her ailing mother Alice and reconnects with Gwen who is married to Catherine's former boyfriend. Both are dabbling in regrets, unfulfilled in polar opposite ways, as each woman covets the other's life. And so begins a dangerous game of musical chairs as each tries to claim the other's territory – the prize being Gwen's Peter Pan-like husband, Don. Gina Gionfriddo says her play can be viewed as an unwitting homage to Wendy Wasserstein's The Heidi Chronicles, and in the era of social media's #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, the feminist underpinnings of this play could not be more relevant.

Rapture, Blister, Burn premiered in 2012 at Playwrights Horizons off-Broadway in New York City and was a Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Its West Coast premiere was in 2013 at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles, and UK premiere was in 2014 at the Hampstead Theatre in London. The play is regularly performed in regional repertory, college, and community theatre productions.

Cast: 4 female, 1 male

What people say:

"…intensely smart, immensely funny…What's exciting about [Gionfriddo's] writing here is the multiplicity of the ideas it engages. Heady with sharp-witted dialogue about the particularities of women's experience (there's a joke about pornography and Google maps – believe it or not – that's worth the ticket price alone), Rapture, Blister, Burn more largely illuminates how hard it can be to forge both a satisfying career and a fulfilling personal life in an era that seems to demand superhuman achievement from everyone." — New York Times

"If you are a feminist, are interested in feminism or are in a relationship with a feminist, you need to see the play Rapture, Blister, Burn by Gina Gionfriddo, because it is about you…By embodying five different perspectives on love, work and women, Gionfriddo puts feminism into dialogue with its detractors and itself…By creating three-dimensional people with real foibles, senses of humor and very personal needs, Gionfriddo manages to take academic feminism from the theoretical to the personal." — Ms. Magazine

"A shrewd, incisive, thoroughly winning comedy. Sharp-eyed, big-hearted, and sure-footed, Gionfriddo ranges across the topography of the women's movement – and the lives that shaped that movement – while demonstrating the confidence to embrace contradictions of all kinds." — Boston Globe

"There's nothing more enjoyable than watching super-smart characters make exceedingly dumb decisions, and seeing beautiful, brilliant Cathy entangled with Internet-porn-addicted pothead Don sets off an almost unbelievable chain of sometimes comic, mostly tragic events…Thoughtful, funny… One of the top ten plays of 2012." — Entertainment Weekly

"[Gionfriddo] is back with another sparky comedy, which combines intelligence with winning humour and palpable humanity ... the warmth and wisdom of the writing remain impressive." — Daily Telegraph (London)

About the Playwright:

Gina Gionfriddo is an American playwright and accomplished television writer (Law & Order and House of Cards). Her plays Becky Shaw and Rapture, Blister, Burn were both finalists for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. She has won an Obie Award, the prestigious Susan Smith Blackburn Prize honouring the best English-language women writers worldwide, the Helen Merrill Prize for Emerging Playwrights, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. In addition to writing, she has taught playwriting at Brown University, Providence College, and Rhode Island College.

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