2010-Bag Ladies, Bodies, Poems

Opens Friday October 22 at Pigment Art Studio, 1848 Columbia Rd NW


The Sanctuary Theatre is proud to announce its October performance series: Bag Ladies, Bodies, Poems—four evenings in of theatre and poetry that explore the experiences of women. Two one-woman shows anchor the event: Claude van Itallie’s Bag Lady and Sibbie O’Sullivan’s The Body. Accompanying Bag Lady and The Body each evening will be a featured poet, followed by an Open Mike invitation for poets to share a brief sample of their work with the audience. Additionally, on the first two Saturdays in November 2010, Sanctuary offers the documentary film “Igual Que Tu,” and “Crossing Borders,” four short films from The Gandhi Brigade.

The series opens on Friday, October 22nd at 7:00 at Pigment Arts Studio, 1848 Columbia Road, NW, a new studio in the heart of Adams Morgan with Itallie’s Bag Lady. Elizabeth Bruce, who stars as the irascible New York City bag lady Clara, will also close the series in a 3:00 matinee on October 30 at All Souls Unitarian Church, 16th and Harvard Street, NW. The Washington Post called Bruce’s Clara “startlingly convincing” and The Hill Rag raved that her performance was ”Phenomenal … a captivating breathless fury.”

On Saturday, October 23, at Pigment, and then at All Souls the following Saturday, October 30, Sarah Pleydell will revive Sibbie O’Sullivan’s The Body, which premiered at the University of Maryland’s Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center in 2004. A humanities scholar, O’Sullivan’s courses have anchored the University of Maryland’s Honors College for many years, and she and Pleydell have partnered on several projects, including O’Sullivan’s CD of poems, Little Wheel, on which Pleydell was one of the chief readers.

Accompanying each solo performance will be a featured poet and an Open Mike. The Sanctuary is proud to announce a distinguished array of local poets, beginning that first weekend with Carolyn Joyner and Naomi Ayala, on October 22 and 23 respectively. Ms. Joyner has a Masters of Arts degree in creative writing from The John Hopkins University. A recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, Ms. Joyner has read her work widely throughout the Metro area and has been featured in several anthologies. Naomi Ayala, who writes in both English and Spanish, has published two volumes of poetry, Wild Animals on the Moon and This Side of Early. A recipient of numerous awards, Ms. Ayala is among the poets featured in the upcoming Folger Shakespeare Library’s Poetry Series.

The following week at All Souls Church, Poet Lisa Pegram is featured on Friday, October 29, and then at Saturday’s 3:00 matinee young women from The Shakti Brigade will present their poetry. Ms. Pegram is well known in the Washington area as a poet and singer with her group “Lady Pcoq and the Plumes. She has worked with youth in coordination with numerous community-based organizations. Her poetry and essays have appeared in several national publications, and she has performed at the Kennedy Center and in various arts festivals around the world. The poets of The Shakti Brigade are among the young women artists with whom Pegram’s has worked. Audience members will sign up on-site for the Open Mike segment that concludes each performance. Slots are limited.

At CentroNia, 1420 Columbia Road, NW, at 11:00 on the first two Saturdays in November, Sanctuary Theatre will present “Igual que Tu” and “Crossing Bridges,” four short films by The Gandhi Brigade. Ellie Walton and Anu Yadav produced the documentary film “Igual Que Tú,” a collection of portraits exploring the lives of immigrant day laborers in Washington, D.C. This film moves beyond the sometimes raucous national discussion about the issue, offering a human perspective. The Gandhi Brigade offers four short films: “Mujeres en Transición” (Women in Transition), “Hermanos en Armas” (Brothers in Arms), “Migración” (Migration), and “Desintegración Familiar” (Family Disintegration). The films are in Spanish with English subtitles. These two events are free.

Tickets for each of the performances are $10 and $7.50 for seniors and students. Call (202) 529-3143 for reservations.  For more details about directions and parking, visit For Directions on this website.