Eve Ensler's 'In the Body of the World' Sets Off-Broadway Run

Eve Ensler - H 2015
Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File

Tony winner Diane Paulus will direct the solo play, based on Ensler's memoir about being diagnosed with a life-threatening illness while working with women in the war-ravaged Democratic Republic of Congo.

Eve Ensler, who carved an indelible place in the history of political theater and feminist activism with her international hit, The Vagina Monologues, will return to the New York stage early next year with In the Body of the World.

While Ensler has long celebrated women's stories and their bodies, championed their rights and protested violence against them, her new play, adapted from a 2013 memoir, turns that same unblinking focus on herself, chronicling her brush with death. She was diagnosed with cancer while working in the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo to raise funds for victims of gender violence.

Staged by Diane Paulus, the show was first presented in May last year at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, Mass., where Paulus is artistic director.

Manhattan Theatre Club will present the play as part of its 2017-18 season. It begins previews Jan. 16 at New York City Center Stage I, with opening night set for Feb. 6.

Ensler was presented with the Isabelle Stevenson Award, an annual honor to a theater community member distinguished for humanitarian or charitable contributions, at the 2011 Tony Awards.

Paulus won a Tony for best direction of a musical in 2013 for Pippin. She received nominations for the same award in 2009 for Hair and in 2012 for The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess. She is currently represented on Broadway with Waitress.

MTC previously announced that its 2017-18 season will include the New York premiere of Prince of Broadway, a retrospective revue celebrating the career of legendary producer-director Harold Prince. That show is scheduled to begin performances Aug. 3 at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre.