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The Ash Girl

The Ash Girl
Your Price: $15.95 CDN
Author: Timberlake Wertenbaker
Publisher: Dramatic Publishing Company
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 82
Pub. Date: 2000
ISBN-10: 1583421602
ISBN-13: 9781583421604

About the Play:

The Ash Girl is a full-length comedic drama by Timberlake Wertenbaker. This wondrous drama explores the beauty and terror inherent in growing up.

In a big old house, Ash girl lives huddled deep in the protection of an ashy hearth. With her mother dead and her father away, she lives with her stepmother and two stepsisters. When the invitation to The Ball arrives from Prince Amir, Ash girl can't bring herself to believe that she, like her sisters, can go. She finds the strength to go with the help of her friends, some of whom come from expected places. When she gets home, Ash girl realizes that in order to regain the fleeting happiness she found in the arms of the Prince, she must fight the monsters who have slithered and insinuated their way into her heart and mind. She must believe in herself for others to do so.

The Ash Girl premiered in 2001 at Birmingham Repertory Theatre (commonly called Birmingham Rep) in Birmingham, England.

Cast: 8 women, 4 men, plus 9 either gender (doubling possible)

What people say:

"…an ambitious play with hints of the Brothers Grim, medieval allegory and anthropomorphism. …it has a quirky originality…. [Ash Girl] is prey to self-doubt and is under the thumb of her stepmother, while her prince is an exiled Asian isolated and unhappy in his new country. Wertenbaker's biggest innovation is to suggest that the forest en route to the palace is populated by an animalized version of the Seven Deadly Sins, which are out to destroy humanity. She even adds a further allegorical figure, Sadness, who tries to tempt Ashgirl towards death, and battles with the Fairy in the Mirror for her soul. The result is like a mix of C.S. Lewis and Sondheim's Into the Woods: an eclectic fairy-tale anthology. Where Wertenbaker scores is in her eye for detail." — The Guardian

"Wertenbaker's The Ash Girl… is as lyrical and thought-provoking as you would expect from the award-winning playwright." — The Independent on Sunday

About the Playwright:

Timberlake Wertenbaker is a British playwright, screenplay writer, and translator, best known for her widely produced play Our Country's Good. Her background is as cosmopolitan as that of the variety of characters in her plays. She was born in the United States in 1951, and grew up in America and the French Basque region. She graduated from St. John's College in 1966, worked as a writer in New York, and taught French in Greece. In 1970 she moved to London where she began writing plays and working with several small theatre companies. Timberlake Wertenbaker is a British playwright who grew up in the Basque Country of France. She was Resident Writer for the Royal Court Theatre (1984-5).

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