Dublin Theatre Festival

An American Odyssey in 8 Arts

What Ever

Written and performed by Heather Woodbury

Venue Liberty Hall Theatre

Directory and dramaturg Dudley Saunders
Lighting design by JR Ledderly, David Robkin

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What Ever

What Ever caused a sensation at this year's Galway Arts Festival. In an amazing feat, the performer and playwright creates an eight part odyssey, performed over four nights that spans the 20th century and criss-crosses the US.

What Ever follows 10 main characters across America as they intersect with over 90 others and their lives and stories converge. While the story unfolds with each instalment, each evening has been constructed with its own dramatic arc.

The performance novel started in the back of a bar in NYC's East Village where for nine months straight, Woodbury, in response to a friend's dare performed an entirely new show every week.

The long addictive yarn she spun was shortened and tightened into What Ever by that same friend, director Dudley Saunders and has toured extensively, from Laurie Anderson's Meltdown Festival in London, to the Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago. It will be published as a novel by Faber/FSG in 2003.

"Heather Woodbury's astonishing What Ever may be the nearest thing to an American Ulysses. In scale and ambition, her eight-hour epic perhaps exceeds even Joyce, for the show is a modern odyssey not for a city, but for a sub-continent"
Fintan O'Toole, The Irish Times

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