Kentucky playwright’s classic set to debut in Paris, France

The cast and Crew of One Flea Spare with playwright Naomi Wallace (center, holding mask) in September: actor Pete Sears, lighting designer Tom Willis, actor Joe Gatton, production manager Jenny Christian, actor Bethany Finley, actor Ron Shull, playwright Naomi Wallace, stage manager Natalie Nicole, technical director Russell Mendez, assistant stage manager Courtney Waltermire, co-artistic directors Natasha Williams and Ryan Case. (c) Herald-Leader photos by Rich Copley.

Prospect native Naomi Wallace’s One Flea Spare will make its debut at the Comédie-Française, the national theater of France, April 28 to June 12.

In 2009, the play was accepted into the repertoire of the the 332-year-old theater, making Wallace and Tennessee Williams the only American playwrights with works in the theater, the oldest national theater in the western world.

Lexington audiences got a chance to see Wallace’s classic in a production by Balagula Theatre last fall that was in conjunction with the Kentucky Women Writers Conference’s new playwrighting competition, which Wallace judged. The winning play, Keliher Walsh’s Year of the Rabbit, concludes its run tonight at Balagula.

Wallace, who divides her time between Kentucky and England, attended the final performance of One Flea at Balagula in September. The play centers on class struggles that emerge in 1665 England during the plague. The play made its debut in 1995 at London’s Bush Theatre and had its United States premiere at Actors Theatre of Louisville’s Humana Festival of New American Plays in 1996. The 1997 production at New York’s Public Theatre received the Obie Award for best play.

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