Webster’s Bookstore Cafe provides intimacy required for ‘Vita and Virginia’ dinner theater

For the CDTFebruary 14, 2014 

Elaine Meder-Wilgus, right, is Virginia and Cynthia Mazzant is Vita in Temptest Studios’ dinner theater production of “Vita and Virginia.”

PHOTO PROVIDED

  • if you go

    What: “Vita and Virginia” dinner theater

    When: 7 p.m. dinner, 8 p.m. show Feb. 15

    Where: Webster’s Bookstore Cafe, 133 E. Beaver Ave., State College

    Info: http://vitaandvirginia.bpt.me, 272-1410

A State College bookstore will offer guests a unique experience by hosting a Valentine’s Day weekend performance of “Vita & Virginia.” The 20-year-old play is an adaptation of letters sent between English writer Virginia Woolf (Elaine Meder-Wilgus) and her lover, acclaimed author and poet Vita Sackville-West (Cynthia Mazzant).

Mazzant, one of the founders of the nonprofit Tempest Productions, said Webster’s Bookstore Cafe’s intimate setting makes sense for the performance.

“While this play explores their romantic relationship, it also explores how these two women talked about literature and their own writing and what it means to be an artist,” she said. “What’s interesting about this is that it is told through their intimate letters, so when you think about presentation it just feels like it should be something that you are sitting in someone’s living room listening to.”

Mazzant said she the show’s themes are a perfect match for the Valentine’s Day.

“It really is about the connections that we make as humans, no matter what our genders are or whether its friendship or whether its romantic love and how sometimes our relationships cover all of those things,” she said.

Although Tempest Productions began in New York, the organization has expanded the performance schedule to regions in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. In the State College area, the studio has scheduled five dinner theater performances for 2014.

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