Women of DIVAfest

The murder ballad “The Wind and Rain” first appeared on a broadside during the mid-17th century with the title “The Twa Sisters.” Since then, there have been dozens of variations under many names, but the essence of the grisly tale remains: Two sisters fall for the same lad. Overcome by jealousy, the spurned girl drowns her rival in the river. The fair sister’s body is then discovered by a traveling musician who turns her breastbone into a fiddle, strung with golden hair on finger-bone fiddle pegs. Among many others, Tom Waits, Jerry Garcia, Gillian Welch, and Regina Spektor have explored this tune, but no one has thought to put it onstage. Thankfully, Nebunele Theatre founder Claytie Mason takes delight in such tragedies. After winning Best New Play at the 2006 SF Fringe for The Secret Ruths of Island House, she presented Euripides with a doo-wop chorus in Medea Knows Best. For this year's DIVAfest, Claytie offers a haunting but offbeat version of The Wind and Rain, in which a dying mill town is evoked by painter and engineer Molly Millar, the blustery climate is set by San Francisco Opera violinist Rebecca Jackson, and the tortured sistership is explored with tenderness and humor by physical theater veterans Brynna Jourdan and Jenna Bean Veatch.
Thursdays-Saturdays, 8:30 p.m. Starts: April 17. Continues through May 1, 2010

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