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Upcoming Performances
Rocks in Her Pocket

by Adele Edling Shank

co-directed by Jim Carmody and Melissa Minniefee

March 9 - 12, 2016

Arthur Wagner Theatre
Click here to download the PRESS RELEASE
About the Play

The ghosts of Virginia Woolf, Diane Arbus, and Sylvia Plath turn up at an academic conference in England, the subject of which is “Women in the Arts: Why Suicide?” The other characters are a maid (who is the only one who sees them), and four academics. There's Jacques the French deconstructionist, Trish Crowley the sociologist whose conference this is, O.G. Washington the Persian woman from California who teaches Women's Studies, and Max the abstract expressionist painter from New York who claims to have photos Diane Arbus took of herself dying. The ghosts have a mission–discover who is about to commit suicide and save him or her.

About the Playwright
Adele Edling Shank wrote numerous plays which have been produced throughout the United States and in England. Her full-length works include six plays in the California series–Sunrise, Winterplay, Stuck: A Freeway Comedy, Sand Castles, The Grass House, and Tumbleweed. They are a series of independent but interconnected plays set in various California locations. Other full-length plays include War Horses, Rocks in Her Pocket, With Allison's Eyes, The Wives of the Magi (an ecumenical play for December), and Sex Slaves. These plays have primarily premiered at the Magic Theatre in San Francisco. Her work has also been developed and/or produced by the Los Angeles Theatre Center, Second Stage (NY), Los Angeles Public Theatre, Paines Plough (London), Show of Strength (Bristol, England), LA Actors Theatre, the La Jolla Playhouse, the Women’s Project (NY), Playbrokers (SF), Berkeley Repertory Theatre, and several productions in the Humana Festival at the Actors Theatre of Louisville.

Shank’s short play Dry Smoke was used as the text for a chamber opera with music by Victor Kioulaphides which was produced by the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra, New York. Her radio adaptation of Stuck was produced by Slovak Radio. She did the text for a dance theatre piece, Jardin Blanc, with English choreographer Yolande Snaith and the Yolande Snaith Dance Company which premiered in Brighton, England in 2004 before touring England and performing at The Place in London as part of Dance Umbrella. An American version followed. Her adaptation of Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse with composer Paul Dresher and director Les Waters was produced at Berkeley Repertory Theatre in 2007.

Shank was the recipient of numerous awards including an NEA Playwriting Fellowship, Rockefeller Playwrights-in-Residence Grant, and a Dramatists Guild/CBS Award. At UCSD she served as Department Chair and Head of Playwriting for several years. She retired from full-time teaching but continued to be active in the department and in the playwriting area. She was an editor of TheatreForum, an international theatre journal published at UC San Diego.
About the Director

JIM CARMODY (PhD, Stanford University) studied at Trinity College Dublin and the University of Paris before coming to the United States to study at Stanford. He graduated from Stanford with a PhD in Drama in 1986. He is the author of Rereading Molière and numerous articles, principally dealing with classical and contemporary French drama. Much of his work deals with the history of mise en scène and problems of translation. He serves on the Editorial Board of Le Nouveau Moliériste and was a member of the inaugural Artistic Committee of Etant Donnés: The French-American Fund for the Performing Arts. He was one of the founding editors of TheatreForum, and continues to serve as one of its editors. As chair of the department in the early 1990s, he was responsible for designing the UCSD/UCI Joint Doctoral Program in Theatre and Drama, in collaboration with UCI faculty members Stephen Barker and David McDonald, and he became the founding head of the program at UCSD. In addition to his scholarly work, he has directed over 50 productions and translated several plays, including plays by Molière and Marivaux. He is currently working on a number of projects related to the staging of Molière's plays in the United States.

MELISSA MINNIEFEE is a fifth-year PhD candidate. She received her BA in Drama at Seattle University and her MA in Theatre at San Diego State. Prior to making the choice to continue her education, she worked in theatre administration for 13 years, most recently as the Director of Operations of a performing arts center. Melissa also has experience in theatre performance, directing and dramaturgy. Her most recent production experiences include working as a dramaturg for the UC San Diego production of Elizabeth I, working as the assistant director and dramaturg for San Diego Asian American Repertory Theatre’s production of BFE and as the assistant director and dramaturg for Labyrinth of Desire, a collaboration between San Diego State University and Moxie Theater. Melissa’s research explores how identity and ideas of national belonging are constructed through theatrical representations in moments of mass internal displacement.

The Cast

Sylvia Plath – Jenna Nilson
Jacques Moreau – Mark Anthony Flynn
Trish Crowley – Cecily Swason
Max Gill – Caleb Kneip
Sheila Higgs – Heather O'Sullivan
O. G. Washington – Mondis Vakili
Diane Arbus – Andrea Bensussen
Virginia Woolf – Bobbie Helland
The Creative Team

Directors – Jim Carmody, Melissa Minniefee
Scenic Designer – Grisele Gonzalez
Costume Designer – Brooke Rector
Lighting Designer – Mextly Almeda
Sound Designer – Ulysses Nieto
Costume Advisor – Elisa Benzoni
Assistant Costume Designer – Vikki Gonzalez
Production Stage Manager – Hsiu I Lu
Assistant Stage Manager – Tori Harris
Production Assistant – Danielle Dudley
Performances Parking & Location

Located at:
Arthur Wagner Theatre

Parking Passes Required: Monday through Friday. Weeknight passes are $2 per vehicle from the vending machines located in the UC San Diego Theatre District/La Jolla Playhouse parking lots and entry display case. Please remember your parking space number. You will need it to purchase your parking pass.

Note: Machines take all major credit cards except Discover and when paying with cash you must use exact change, NO CHANGE GIVEN.

Parking Passes Not Required: Saturdays and Sundays


Cars without permits are subject to ticketing by UCSD Campus Police. The Theatre & Dance Department does not have the authority to waive and cannot pay parking tickets.





Mar. 9

Mar. 10

Mar. 11

Mar. 12

Mar. 12
7:30pm     OPENING




7:30pm     CLOSING

Advance tickets for this production are available Monday-Friday, noon to 6 pm by calling the Box Office at 858.534.4574 or in person at the Theatre District’s Central Box Office at the Sheila & Hughes Potiker Theatre.

At-the-Door tickets, if available, can be purchased one hour before show time at the performing theatre’s box office at Mandell Weiss Theatre.

General Admission: $20
UCSD Faculty/Staff/Alumni Association, and Seniors (over 62): $15
UCSD Students/UCSD Alumni Association (with ID): $10

Theatre & Dance Faculty, Staff & Majors Only >>

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