(via John Wyszniewski, Everyman Agency; Photo: (c) Daniel M. Weiss.)

Based on Real-Life Struggles of Runners, One Woman Show Celebrates Resilience Through The Stories of Athletes

 “Bracing and beautiful… absolutely intoxicating.” – New York Times

“Fantastic… run to get a ticket for this truly excellent show.” – No Proscenium

Due to popular demand and critical acclaim, ENDURE: Run Woman Show, an immersive theatrical experience in Central Park based on the real-life struggles of runners, has added additional performances at 6:30pm on Wednesday–Sunday and at 2:30pm on Saturday and Sunday. Created, written, and narrated by Melanie JonesENDURE, which opened on July 14, is both a physical and emotional journey telling the story of a woman running her first marathon, and the events in her life that propel her to the race. Directed by Suchan Vodoor, the show explores human resilience from inside the lived experiences of athletes and celebrates the creative potential of sport to tell deeply human stories. The strictly limited engagement of ENDURE continues through August 8.

Additionally, an open rehearsal of MOTHER, a new chapter of Run Woman Show, will take place on Friday, August 6, at 1pm.

“Bracing and beautiful,” declared Laura Collins-Hughes in her New York Times Critic’s Pick review, adding, “Endure is a play about survival and aspiration and excellence, about having yourself for company over the long slog, about building strength in pursuit of a happier life… it is absolutely intoxicating.” Edward Mylechreest in No Proscenium wrote, “This fantastic piece of immersive theatre is absolutely worth the wait. It is a beautiful story, told in an exquisite manner, that I think can connect with so many people. Lace up your shoes, and run to get a ticket for this truly excellent show.”

ENDURE: Run Woman Show is, quite literally, a walk in the park. Equipped with a sanitized and synchronized audio player, audiences will follow one performer (Mary Cavett or Casey Howes) on a winding and circular 5K / 3.1 mile journey. Audiences are not required to run. As park goers listen to the inner monologue of the athlete voiced by Jones, they’ll not only be greeted by the natural beauty of Central Park but also the vulnerable and transformative thoughts of the runner. Set to a musical soundtrack by Swedish composer Christine Owman, the intimate audio serves as a backdrop to the highly physical live performance unfolding in front of audiences.

“When I discovered running, I realized that the stronger I got on the outside, the stronger I felt on the inside,” said Jones, 45, who has completed four marathons and one Ironman. “Long-distance running, at its best, is a spiritual experience: uplifting, clarifying, transformative. A runner feels connected to their environment, their best self, even humanity. My hope is that ENDURE gives audiences a sense of that tranquility and peace.”

Performances of ENDURE: Run Woman Show continues through August 8 with performances scheduled Wednesday–Sunday at 6pm and 6:30pm and Friday and Saturday 2pm and 2:30pm. Tickets can be purchased at https://runwomanshow.com/.

ENDURE: Run Woman Show is designed to be pleasantly Covid-safe with intentionally small audiences of 15 people. Audiences are encouraged to observe at their own pace, distance, and discretion. ENDURE takes place in the southern end of Central Park, beginning and ending within walking distance to Columbus Circle. The exact starting point will be communicated to ticket buyers in advance of the event. The running time of ENDURE is 75 minutes.

ENDURE: Run Woman Show is made possible with the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.

About the Artists

Melanie Jones (Creator, Writer, Co-Producer | she/her) is a Canadian marathoner, Ironman finisher and mother. She’s also a writer, performer, and producer whose immersive theatre, video, and performance works include JOYRIDEIn You (And You?)Run Woman Show (ENDURE and MOTHER), and Experiments In DelightENDURE: Run Woman Show won two 2012 NYIT Awards, was a Most Memorable Theatre Moment of 2011 (Calgary Herald), was shortlisted for the Brick Award (2012 Edinburgh Festival Fringe). Jones’s work has been supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, BAX/Brooklyn Arts Exchange, Calgary 2012 Cultural Capital of Canada, Alberta Foundation for the Arts. ENDURE has been presented in five cities and four countries, including the 49th Annual Calgary Marathon in May of 2013. Jones was a 2013-15 Artist In Residence at Brooklyn Arts Exchange, and a 2014 New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) Immigrant Artist.

Suchan Vodoor (Director, Co-Producer | he/him) is a director, producer, and designer based in New York City. He specializes in crafting interactive, immersive experiences and directing devised physical theatre. His work has included a decade as Resident Director of Six Characters, a troupe of punk rock clowns from Alphabet City; Art Directing “You Are So Lucky”, a daring nightlife experiences at a 100-year-old mansion overlooking the Hudson River; and Creative Production of “Seeing You”, an immersive exploration of WWII from Ryan Heffington & Randy Weiner.

Mary Cavett (Performer | she/her) is an actor, dancer, and collaborator. She graduated from Juilliard with her MFA in acting in 2020. Theater work includes: The Shape She Makes (A.R.T.); HamletA Midsummer Night’s DreamMacbeth, The Liar (Santa Cruz Shakespeare); Here In The Bright Colorado Sun (workshop O’Neill Theater Center); MacbethA Twelfth NightJulius CaesarMuch Ado About Nothing (Smith Street Stage); Romeo & Juliet (CRY HAVOC); ENDURE: A Run Woman Show (Edinburgh Fringe/ NYC). Film &TV: PAN AMAll My ChildrenSurrogate ValentineStage V; various projects with filmmaker Derrick Belcham. Cavett also danced eight seasons with the Radio City Rockettes. She loves collaborating across artistic disciplines and finds the most compelling work to be that which does not fit neatly into any one box. She believes the arts help us learn and heal as a community and are a catalyst for understanding, unity, compassion and change.

Casey Howes (Performer | she/her) is a Brooklyn-based dancer and choreographer. Born and raised in Los Angeles, CA. Howes has been dancing her entire life, catalyzing her training at The Colburn School Under Leslie Carothers and Glenn Edgerton. During her studies, Howes performed works by renowned companies and choreographers like Martha Graham, Alvin Ailey, Vim Vigor, Batsheva, to name a few. After graduating from the SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Dance with a BFA in Dance & Choreography, she joined Pilobolus Dance Theater and started internationally touring both repertory work and a multimedia show called Shadowland. Over the past few years, she has performed and taught all around the world with Pilobolus and helped to create their first women’s trio, which debuted at The American Dance Festival in 2018. Howes is thrilled to be continuing her exploration of site-specific immersive theater, and is honored to join the Run Woman Show family.

Christine Owman (Composer | she/her) is a Swedish composer, songwriter and recording artist. Producing everything herself, Owman’s music is a dichotomous blend of dreamy sounds and raw distortion, reverb, bass and noise expressed through clever, uninhibited lyrics. Her albums include When On Fire (2016), Sleepwalker EPLittle Beast (2013), Throwing Knives (2010), Open Doors (2003), Morning Thoughts (2002). Owman’s full band consists of Magnus Sveningsson of The Cardigans on the bass, Andréas Almqvist of Vånna Inget on the drums, Robert Wegner on the guitar and herself on the cello, guitar and vocals. Owman has worked, toured and/or opened for a number of bands and artists including Robert Plant (Led Zeppelin), Mark Lanegan, SoKo, Wovenhand, Chelsea Wolfe, Vånna Inget and members of The Cardigans.

Funding Credits

Canada Council for the Arts is Canada’s public arts funder, with a mandate to foster and promote the study and enjoyment of, and the production of works in, the arts. The Council champions and invests in artistic excellence through a broad range of grants, services, prizes and payments to professional Canadian artists and arts organizations. Its work ensures that excellent, vibrant and diverse art and literature engages Canadians, enriches their communities and reaches markets around the world. The Council also raises public awareness and appreciation of the arts through its communications, research and arts promotion activities. It is responsible for the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, which promotes the values and programs of UNESCO in Canada to contribute to a more peaceful, equitable and sustainable future. The Canada Council Art Bank operates art rental programs and helps further public engagement with contemporary arts.

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