Cal Shakes Presents 'Virgins to Villains: My Journey With Shakespeare's Women'


EDGE Media Network Contributor

Tuesday July 14, 2015

California Shakespeare Theater, as a special addition to its 2015 season, will present the autobiographical one-woman show, "Virgins to Villains: My Journey With Shakespeare's Women," written and performed by Oregon Shakespeare Festival company member and Cal Shakes alumna Robin Goodrin Nordli in a special one-night only performance on Monday, July 20, at the Bruns Amphitheater.
"I'm a firm believer in having a lot of humor, because I think sometimes Shakespeare becomes a sacred cow," said Nordli in an earlier interview. "It's about saying 'look, it's nothing to be afraid of. Shakespeare is accessible. Shakespeare resonates in your life. Even if you don't understand every word, it doesn't matter.' There are phenomenal stories and journeys and what that means to each of us in today's society. I think demystifying Shakespeare has always been a big thing for me. When I started out in high school I had a teacher who just said figure out what you're saying and find a way to mean it. Of course it's more than that, but that was a fabulous starting point."

Nordli, a 22-year company member who has performed 71 roles in 55 productions of 28 different Shakespeare plays, storms the stage of the Bruns Amphitheater for her one-woman show about her personal journey with Shakespeare's women. In this humorous and touching production, which premiered at OSF in 2012, Nordli takes you on a personal journey through the female side of Shakespeare's canon, and how it has resonated in her life -- a journey of virgins to villains.

Nordli is a classically trained actress in her 22nd season with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. She holds a MFA from the American Conservatory Theatre and has worked professionally as an actor since 1984. Prior to, and during her time with OSF, she has performed at South Coast Repertory Theatre, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Mark Taper Forum, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Arizona Theatre Company, The American Conservatory Theatre, The Vita Shakespeare Festival, The Grove Shakespeare Festival, and five seasons with The California Shakespeare Festival.

She has played leading roles in plays by Chekhov, Moliere, Shaw, Coward, and Ibsen as well as in contemporary works, and musicals. She is one of 21 actors chosen for inclusion in "North American Players of Shakespeare, A Book of Interviews." She appears on the cover of, and her work is discussed in, the book "Women Direct Shakespeare in America."

Her audio recordings of Shakespearean text can be heard in "Dialogue and Monologue: A Study of Shakespearean Soliloquies with Dramatic Readings," published in Mandarin as well as English. The article she wrote for the Ibsen Society of America's Journal entitled "Creating Hedda" is a reflection of her experiences of performing the role of Hedda in Ibsen's "Hedda Gabler" and was published in 2004.

When not performing, she shares her love and knowledge of theatre through teaching and coaching. She has been an adjunct professor of theatre at Southern Oregon University, and has lectured and taught at National Taiwan and I-Lan Universities in Taiwan and Peking University in Beijing China as well as at UCLA and the University of Idaho. For 22 years, she has participated and taught in education programs at OSF as well as the Road Scholar and Senior Venture programs. Nordli is the recipient of the Oregon Arts Commission Individual Artists Fellowship for 2009, as well as a Lunt-Fontanne Fellowship for 2013.
Single tickets for "Virgins and Villains" are $30 and $65; the higher-priced ticket includes a post-show reception with Nordli.


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