WHEN: Thursdays-Sundays, May 4th through May 14th
WHERE: Luna’s MainStage, 555 Valley Road, West Orange
TICKETS: all tickets are offered on a sliding scale ($10-$80) and no one will be turned away for lack of funds.
Tickets are available at https://www.lunastage.org/two-elizas
Luna Stage is thrilled to announce the World Premiere of
Written and performed by Jenny Mercein, Two Elizas
explores the true story of Jenny’s ancestor, Eliza Mercein Barry,
whose landmark 1847 U.S. Supreme Court case Barry v. Mercein
established a woman's right to retain custody of her child. Jenny
juxtaposes Eliza's story with her own complicated journey to
motherhood, in a moving intergenerational reflection on resilience
and women's rights.
“Discovering the lineage of resilient women in my family
line has been an incredible experience for me,” says Mercein. “Learning about, and embodying, Eliza Mercein Barry has enabled me to
view my own experiences of joy and pain in a new context.”
“We are honored to be able to bring Jenny’s powerful
story to our audiences,” says Luna Artistic Director Ari Laura
Kreith. “Our 2023 season has explored the quest for bodily autonomy
through multiple historical lenses, and this play provides a moving,
honest glimpse into the challenges of motherhood across generations.”
Mercein describes the play as “an intimate, shared
experience which, despite the heaviness of some of the topics, I hope
will bring laughter, healing, and inspiration.”
“It has been a privilege to watch this work evolve from
a reading at Luna last season to this full MainStage production,”
added Kreith. “One of Jenny’s many gifts as a storyteller and
performer is that she can find the ways humor and heartbreak intersect and invite you to experience the truth of a painful moment
in a way that is also hilarious and inspiring.”
The production is co-directed by Lori Elizabeth Parquet
and Ryder Thornton.
About Jenny: Jenny Mercein is an actor, teacher, director, producer,
and writer currently living in New Orleans, where she an Associate
Professor at Tulane University. She is a proud co-creator and
producer of Roleplay, a live theatre performance and documentary film
project exploring student perspectives on love, sex, power, and
consent. The script for Roleplay is published by Dramatic Publishing.
Along with KJ Sanchez, Jenny co-created X’s and O’s, an acclaimed
docudrama about football and traumatic brain injury. Acting credits
include “Your Honor,” “NCIS: New Orleans,” "30 Rock,"
"Blue Bloods," "Unforgettable," "Law &
Order" and extensive theater credits spanning the country.
Member: AEA, SAG-AFTRA, National Alliance of Acting Teachers. For
more information, visit www.jennymercein.com.