Press Release No. 07/06

October 30, 2007

For immediate release  
Jean Genet's The Maids opens Nov. 12 -
2nd Installment in Scena Theatre's Nouvelle Vague 20th Anniversary Season
The Maids, by Jean Genet, continues Scena Theatre's exploration of Nouvelle Vague theatre through its 20th Anniversary season. The play will preview November 9-11 and opens November 12. It is presented in association with both the Embassy of France's La Maison Francaise and the Alliance Francaise of Washington, D.C. The Maids is directed by renowned German director Gabriale Jakobi, and pairs Helen Hayes Award winning "outstanding lead actresses" Nanna Invarsson (1991) and Jenifer Deal (2002).
Production Information at a glance:
Date: Monday, November 12, at 8pm,
  thereafter Thurs. – Sat. at 8pm, Sun. at 3pm through December 16
Press Night: Monday, November 12, at 8pm
Previews: Fri-Sat., Nov. 9-10, at 8pm, Sun. Nov. 11, at 3pm
Location: Warehouse Theater, 1021 7th Street NW, Washington DC
Press info:
Ticket prices: $25-$32
Box office: Online at or call 703-683-2824.

The Maids portrays two domestic workers (Solange and Claire, sisters), deeply resentful of their inferior social position. They attempt to revenge themselves against society by destroying their employer - Madame. When their attempt to betray their mistress' lover to the Police fails and they are in danger of being found out, they dream and fantasize about murdering Madame, little conscious of the devastating power behind their darkest fantasy.

"The absurdist style of Jean Genet's The Maids, with its detours and mystifications, is taken over and consumed by its extraordinary perception of pain, concentrated and focused as if under a burning-glass. It is one of the most unremittingly moving works in the modernist repertory." -Richard Eder, The New York Times

The Maids is directed by Gabriele Jakobi. Based in Berlin, Germany, her work has been seen at Schauspiel Köln, Schauspielhaus Düsseldorf, LTT Tübingen Schauspielhaus Hamburg, Thalia Theater (Hamburg), Schauspielhaus Bremen, Neuköllner Oper (Berlin), Renaissance Theater Berlin (all Germany), Volkstheater Wien, Vorzeening Theater Gronigen, and Scena Theatre (Washington DC). Her production of Penthesilea by Heinrich von Kleist was declared "Best Production" in Germany in 1986 by Theater Heute magazine.
The cast of The Maids features Helen Hayes winning "outstanding lead actresses" Jenifer Deal (Claire) and Nanna Ingvarsson (Solange), as well as Danielle Davy (Madame). The sets are designed by British stage veteran Richard Montgomery, with costumes by Alisa Mandel, lighting by Marianne Meadows and sound by Chris Pifer.

Jean Genet, born in France in 1910, wrote his first novel while serving one of his numerous prison sentences. Condemned to life imprisonment in 1948, Genet was pardoned by the President of France at the behest of the country's most eminent writers. He is the world-renowned author of the novels Our Lady of the Flowers, The Thief's Journal, Funeral Rites, The Miracle of the Rose and Querelle (the latter being made into a film by German director Rainer Werner Fassbinder). He also wrote numerous stage works including The Balcony (seen at Scena last season), The Blacks, Deathwatch and The Screens. He died in 1986 and is buried in Larache, Morocco.