This show is brought to you in part by our sponsors:
Producer information coming soon!
If you would like to learn more about the benefits of becoming a member of our exclusive Producer’s Circle, click here.
Earlier this year award winning Canadian journalist, Lisa LaFlamme, was abruptly dismissed as Chief Anchor at CTV National News at the age of 58 that she alleges was a case of sexism and ageism when she stopped dying her grey hair. Her true identity was related to having grey hair and it caused a major controversy.
Identity is at the core of so much in our culture in this summer of 2023. Trans people talk of their true gender identity and people with disabilities and people from marginalized ethnic or religious or sexual orientation communities talk of expressing their identity in the most public of ways. June is the month of Pride Day and Juneteenth. It is also when Cape May Stage mounts “Shirley Valentine”.
When Willy Russell wrote his hilarious “Shirley Valentine” in 1988 he could not have known how relevant it would be thirty-five years later. Shirley Bradshaw searches for her identity that has been lost when her role as wife and mother erased that true identity and it is only the chance encounter of a stranger that makes her re-discover the woman she was before society forced her to give up her maiden name.
The theme of this season is the importance of other people in one’s lives. Shirley’s friend, Jane, invites her to come along on a holiday to Greece and neither could predict how important that casual invitation would be.
Just as Shirley steps out of her comfort zone, we invite you to consider if there is anything that would make you more authentic after experiencing this production. Dr. Bruce Yankner at Harvard Medical School notes that older brains are better at making rational decisions and are better able to screen out negativity.
Perhaps we should all listen to Shirley as she aspires for her husband to “feel the sun on his skin an’ to be in water that’s as deep as forever, an’ to have his wet head kissed. He needs to stare out to sea. And to understand”.
We have the sea here in Cape May and I hear it is deep as forever…
Roy Steinberg, Producing Artistic Director
Casting information coming soon!
Willy Russell (playwright) was recently represented on Broadway with his smash–hit transfer from London, Blood Brothers. For Shirley Valentine Mr. Russell won the 1989 Tony Award, Drama Desk Award for Best Play and Oliver Award for Best Comedy of the Year. His worldwide hit play and movie Educating Rita won London’s SWET Award for Best Comedy, and in 1981, an Academy Award nomination for screenplay adaptation.
Born in Liverpool, he left school at 15 to become a hairdresser before returning to education and becoming a teacher. It was while training to become a teacher that he wrote his first play, which premiered at the Edinburgh Festival, When the Reds. His adaptation of Alan Plater’s Tigers are Coming O.K. was his first professional work, presented in Liverpool in 1973. This was followed by John Paul George Ringo… and Bert which moved from Liverpool to the West End, winning the Evening Standard and London Theatre Critics Awards for Best Musical. Mr. Russell was Commissioned to write a play for the Royal Shakespeare Company. The result, Educating Rita, ran on the West End for two years, has been performed all over the world and was made into a motion picture starring Michael Caine and Julie Walters. Blood Brothers opened in Liverpool in 1983, before subsequently moving to the West End.
In addition to the film Educating Rita he wrote screenplays for the movie versions of Shirley Valentine and Dancing Thru The Dark based on his plays Stags and Hens. His plays have been translated into almost every language, with productions currently running in Japan, Australia, South America, Scandinavia and Europe.
More crew information coming soon!
Press photos coming soon!
Digital program coming soon!