"Conversations with Virginia Woolf" Featuring Diane Wilson at the Adams Memorial Theatre

Media contact: Noelle Lemoine, communications assistant; tele: (413) 597-4277; email: [email protected]

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass., Sept. 14, 2001–Acclaimed South African actress Diane Wilson will perform in “Conversations with Virginia Woolf,” a one-woman, one-hour play assembled from Woolf’s letters and diaries and directed by Roy Sargeant. Conceived, written and performed by Wilson, the play will be presented at Williams College at the Adams Memorial Theatre DownStage at 8 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 19. The performance is free and open to the public. However, seating is limited and a ticket is required. For reservations, contact the AMT Box Office at 597-2425. Tickets may be picked up one hour prior to curtain only. For additional information, please call 597-2599.

Virginia Woolf, novelist, essayist and critic, was born in London on January 25, 1882. Among her well-known novels are “Mrs. Dalloway,” “To The Lighthouse,” and “The Waves.” A tireless letter writer and diarist, her letters are a dazzling, at time malicious, evocation of a world of literary and social friendships and intrigues. She knew almost anyone that mattered &endash; including some of the major literary figures of the day like T.S. Elliot and James Joyce. Woolf and husband Leonard established and ran Hogarth Press which in turn shaped the literary world. Their home in the Bloomsbury area of London became the center of what came to be known as the Bloomsbury Group. Throughout her life, Virginia suffered from acute manic depression leading to her drowning herself in the river Ouse in Sussex on March 28, 1941.

Diane Wilson began her career as a child actress in 1957. Since then her work has embraced stage, film, television and radio and every kind of play including the classics, drama, comedy, musicals and revue. She worked as leading actress and director with the Performing Council of Transvaal (PACT) from 1974-1976, and in the same capacity with the Cape Performing Arts Board (CAPAB) from 1978-1997. In her native homeland of South Africa, Diane has won numerous theatre and television awards. “Shirley Valentine” won her five awards &endash; including the Fleur du Cap as Best Actress in 1993 and the National Vita Award in 1994. Her most recent success has been with the role of Grace in “Grace and Glorie,” which earned her both the FNB Vita Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role and the 1999 Fleur du Cap Award for Best Leading Actress.

Roy Sargeant, one of South Africa’s most distinguished theatrical directors, is Artistic Consultant to the Baxter Theatre Center, where he established the New Writing Programme which has encouraged the writing of new South African plays. The most recent accomplishment of this Programme has been “SUIP!” Which has been both a critical and popular success. He recently won the 1999 FNB Vita Award for Director of the Year for his production of “The Elephant Man” at the Baxter.

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