Media contact: David Perry & Associates
Emilie Miller's "Cinghiale!" in World Premiere at San Francisco's
January 16 - February 14, 2004
Opening Night Benefits San Francisco's Asian Women's Shelter
cinghiale / chin-gaw-lay / n. Italian for wild boar
3 December 2003 - SAN FRANCISCO, CA: Bay Area performer / playwright Emilie Miller is out to "boar" you - literally. In the world premiere of "Cinghiale!" (opening January 16th at San Francisco's EXIT Theatre) the up-and-coming San Mateo-based actress gives new meaning to the phrase femme fatale. Her characters have one thing in common: they are armed, loaded, dangerous and they hunt wild boar, or in the Italian of the play's title, "cinghiale."
"When my women's voices aren't heard, they let their guns do the talking," says Miller, most recently seen in the FoolsFury production of Slawomir Mrozek's 'Out at Sea' and 'The Party.' "The wild boar has truth. The women have guns."
And these women - all created and performed by Miller - do what all hobbyists do: They form a support group.
"Of course," Miller explains coyly. "They don't know that Louise, the daughter of one of the support group members actually has a 'cinghiale' living in her closet."
Louise runs her life dictated by her wild imagination. As she grows up, trying to ignore the beast in her bedroom, she abandons the wild jungle of herself. Her health begins to deteriorate like a captured animal suffering in domestication. As she hits bottom, the support group confessionals build to dangerous levels. Through emotionally charged spoken word, cabaret, opera, and slam-style philosophy, "Cinghiale!" is an exploration of the questions, "What are we hunting for?" and "Just how far are we willing to go to get it?" Louise - originally banned from her mother's group - will soon herself be old enough to join, prompting a surprising confrontation and host of un-palpable choices for everyone concerned.
"The members of the support group are diverse -- socialites, soccer moms, intellectuals -- but the importance of what they possess, in common, allows them to put their differences aside," explains Miller. "They are all women, yes, but more importantly these femme hunters have big guns and have something big to say."
Before the world of solo performance and wild boars, Miller grew up in Baltimore, actively involved in the local theater scene, where she performed with such companies as Baltimore's Center Stage, and attended Carver Center for the Arts, a high school for the performing arts. During this period she produced an original puppetry show interpretation of Andy Backer's "Bread" sponsored by the Baltimore Museum of Art and The Victoria and Albert Museum. The production was produced in both Baltimore and London in 1998 while Miller was still in high school. Using Backer's simple text, a meditation on poverty and hunger, Miller and three other women designed " a piece that was worthy of the Victoria and Albert Museum" (The Baltimore Sun). The result: A "Grand Design" award from BMA, the Victoria and Albert Museum and Lockheed Martin. After high school, the seeds for "Cinghiale!" began to sprout while Miller was studying at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York with noted performance artist Lynn Book.
After New York, Miller relocated to the West Coast, where she has become involved with youth theater, both directing and teaching. As an instructor with Coastside Repertory Conservatory, an arts education program in Half Moon Bay, she works with Bay Area actor and director Michael Lederman. After living in Half Moon Bay for two years, Miller was named one of "The Top 20 Women Making an Impact on the Coast" by the Half Moon Bay Review Magazine.
"I'm very excited to have Emilie as part of our 2004 season," said Christina Augello, EXIT Artistic Director. "Supporting new work, especially by women, is a primary goal of EXIT Theatre, which produces DIVAfest, our annual festival by for and about women."
The opening night performance of "Cinghiale!" on Friday, January 16th will benefit San Francisco's Asian Women's Shelter (www.sfaws.org), a comprehensive program that provides safety, food, shelter, advocacy, and other resources to assist women in rebuilding violence-free lives for themselves and their children. The services of AWS are culturally appropriate and language accessible. They provide an on-call pool of multilingual advocates to respond to the wide range of Asian languages spoken in the Bay area, and work closely with other agencies in the community to provide a comprehensive network of resources for Asian battered women and their children.
Miller's hope for those who experience 'Cinghiale!: "I want people to leave the theatre asking themselves, 'what are you waiting for?' Go out and conquer your own elusive wild beast."
Emilie Miller's "Cinghiale!"" will have its World Premiere at San Francisco's EXIT Stage Left Theatre, 156 Eddy Street, just off Union Square and one block from the Powell Street MUNI / BART station. Performances are Friday and Saturday evenings at 8pm, January 16 - February 14, 2004. Tickets are $15 - $20 sliding scale; $10 with student I.D. For ticket reservations please call (650) 712-9850 or purchase online at www.ticketweb.com.
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