Pro Rata Theater presents Orlando by Sarah Ruhl at the Crane Theater this spring under the direction of Carin Bratlie Wethern. Ruhl’s theatrical adaptation of Virginia Woolf’s novel premiered in New York in 2010 and artfully plays with the attributes of gender, sexuality, identity and freedom in a joyful yet earnest way.

In a magical dream of history, Orlando lives from the English Renaissance to the 20th century. His life begins as a handsome and charismatic nobleman, a favorite of Queen Elizabeth and the lover of a Russian princess. Heartache and a thirst for adventure and poetry lead Orlando to Constantinople where a night of debauchery triggers a transformation: Orlando becomes a woman and pursues her adventures through several centuries of challenges and passions. Virginia Woolf wrote her novel in honor of her friend and contemporary Vita Sackville-West who was a prolific writer and notorious lover. Sarah Ruhl’s adaptation is sexy and surprising, joyful and serious as it cleverly plays with the attributes of gender, sexuality, identity and freedom.

“Orlando is a whimsical journey of self-discovery; it’s magic at every turn. Virginia Woolf’s story, first published in 1928, has proven timeless because the search for love is universal, and a transformational story seems particularly compelling right now.” says Carin Bratlie Wethern, artistic director of Theater Pro Rata who is leading this production. “I’m thrilled to dig into this storyline with these artists because they’re each so well suited to their whimsy and silliness. It’ll be the perfect thing to get us through the end of a Minnesota winter and the transition to the promise of another spring!”

Photo credit: Alex Wohlhueter

Courtney Stirn

Photos: Theater Pro Rata Presents ORLANDO By Sarah Ruhl
Courtney Stirn; Amber Bjork

Photos: Theater Pro Rata Presents ORLANDO By Sarah Ruhl
Nissa Nordland Morgan; Courtney Stirn

Photos: Theater Pro Rata Presents ORLANDO By Sarah Ruhl
Nissa Nordland Morgan; Ninchai Nok-Chiclana; Courtney Stirn; Michel Quadrozzi; Ankita Ashrit; Emily Rosenberg; Rachel Flynn; Andrew Trot

Photos: Theater Pro Rata Presents ORLANDO By Sarah Ruhl
Andrew Troth; Courtney Stirn; Rachel Flynn; Ankita Ashrit; Ninchai Nok-Chiclana

Photos: Theater Pro Rata Presents ORLANDO By Sarah Ruhl
Courtney Stirn; Andrew Troth; Nissa Nordland Morgan; Amber Björk; Ankita Ashrit