Rapture, Blister, Burn : Resources for the press

by Gina Gionfriddo
directed by Virginia Drake
May 18-June 18, 2017
Show times: Thurs.-Sat. at 8 p.m. Sun. at 2 p.m. (No show on May 21.)
Download high-res publicity photos. Scroll to the bottom of the page for info on past shows.

Catherine (Kristin Brownstone) is tempted by her friend’s husband, Don (Erik Gandolfi). Photo by Taylor Sanders.


Gina Gionfriddo’s smart script asks: “What if you had a chance at the road not taken?”

“What if you wake up one day and decide … my books don’t love me,
my degrees and awards don’t love me, the 500 men I’ve had sex with don’t love me …”

SAN JOSE, CA (April 25, 2017) – Catherine wants what her friend Gwen has: a husband and children. Maybe. Gwen wants to be what Catherine is: a famous academic and cultural pundit.

Toss in Catherine’s widowed but feisty mother Alice, a young reality-TV maker, Gwen’s flawed husband, feminist theory and lots of martinis, and you have the makings of Rapture, Blister, Burn: an unflinching, witty, Pulitzer Prize-nominated look at modern gender politics and the pain and frustrations we go through to find happiness.

Written by Gina Gionfriddo, who was also a 2009 Pulitzer finalist for the sharp comedy Becky Shaw, Rapture, Blister, Burn runs May 18-June 18 at City Lights Theater Company, directed by Virginia Drake. Performances are at 529 S. Second St. in San Jose, Thursday-Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2. For details and tickets, go to cltc.org or call 408-295-4200.

Rapture, Blister, Burn premiered in 2012 at Playwrights Horizons in New York and was named a New York Times Critics’ Pick. The Times called the play “intensely smart and immensely funny,” with the New York Daily News pronouncing it “a smart, funny and lightning-paced look at feminism.”

City Lights’ nonprofit partner for the show is the nearby Northside Theatre Company. Part of the box-office proceeds will go toward helping Northside rebound from recent damages caused by the February floods in San Jose.

Cast: Kristin Brownstone (Catherine), Deb Anderson (Gwen), Lillian Bogovich (Alice), Ivette Deltoro (Avery) and Erik Gandolfi (Don).

Virginia Drake (Director), faculty emerita at West Valley College, recently directed Tigers Be Still at City Lights, preceded by Art, The Language Archive, Smell of the Kill, Hedda Gabler, First Day of School and August: Osage County. Her directorial efforts at Los Altos Stage Company include Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, On Golden Pond, Circle Mirror Transformation and Doubt. Virginia has also directed at TheatreWorks and Santa Clara University. A member of Actors’ Equity Association, she holds an MFA in Acting from Stanford University, and a BA in Dramatic Art from U.C. Davis. She also records audio books for Books Aloud Inc., based at San Jose’s Martin Luther King Library.

Designers: Ron Gasparinetti (Scenic), Jane Lambert (Costumes), Nick Kumamoto (Lighting), George Psarras (Sound Design), Christina Sturken (Props).

Sponsors and Supporters: These include The Shubert Foundation, Silicon Valley Creates, Applied Materials Foundation, the City of San Jose Office of Cultural Affairs, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and many other individuals, corporations, and foundations. This production is sponsored by Nancy B. Coleman and Paul M. Resch.

City Lights’ 2016-17 season concludes this summer with the Goth-rock musical Lizzie. The 2017-18 season starts in September with Stupid Fucking Bird, a contemporary riff on Chekhov. It continues with the holiday play Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley; the Civil Rights-era drama Alabama Story; Shakespeare’s controversial The Merchant of Venice; and the vibrant Lin-Manuel Miranda musical In the Heights. The May-June 2018 show will be announced shortly. Details are at cltc.org.


WHAT: Gina Gionfriddo’s Rapture, Blister, Burn is an unflinching, witty look at modern gender politics and the pain and frustrations we go through to find happiness.

May 18-June 18, 2017
Pay What You Can Night: Thursday, May 18, 8 p.m.
$19 Preview Night: Friday, May 19, 8 p.m.
Opening Night (with a post-show party catered by San Jose’s Cafe Stritch): Saturday, May 20, 8 p.m.
Showtimes: Thursday-Saturday, 8 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m. No performance on May 21.

City Lights Theater Company, 529 S. Second St., San Jose, CA 95112

Tickets are $19-$42, with discounts for seniors (55+), students/educators, and groups (10+). (There is a $2 surcharge for phone and in-person purchases.) Tickets for closing weekend are increased by $2.

For tickets or more details, go to cltc.org or call 408-295-4200. The theater is wheelchair-accessible.

For press passes or more information, contact City Lights marketing director Rebecca Wallace at rebecca@cltc.org or 408-295-4200. High-res photos can be downloaded at bit.ly/rapturecltc.


Press resources for past City Lights shows