Sept. 12, 2016

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) Chellsie Memmel, 2008 Olympics winner of the Silver Medal for the Best All Around in women's gymnastics, will go for the gold when she makes her theatrical debut in the world premiere of Mary Eberstadt's The Loser Letters at Catholic University's Hartke Theatre Sept. 29 through Oct. 9.

The play - a wickedly witty satire that chronicles the conversion of a young woman of faith to atheism - features an all-female cast and largely female creative team. Memmel portrays the ever-present Shadow: The Young Woman's Inner Demon.

Eberstadt describes the play as "a great leap of faith - and I don't mean a religious leap of faith necessarily. This is about trusting other people."

University President John Garvey said, "We are delighted to host The Loser Letters at The Catholic University of America. Mary Eberstadt is one of the wisest and wittiest writers alive. Our students will enjoy their introduction to her. She has given them a lot to think about."

Memmel is the 2005 world all-around champion in women's gymnastics and the 2003 world champion on the uneven bars.

The show is directed and adapted by Jeffrey Fiske, director and adaptor of the off-Broadway hit The Screwtape Letters. The creative team includes choreographer Irina Tsikurishvili, co-artistic director of Synetic Theatre who has won more Helen Hayes Awards than anyone in D.C.

The production is co-sponsored by The Catholic University of America with support from the John Templeton Foundation, which serves as a philanthropic catalyst for discoveries relating to the big questions of human purpose and ultimate reality and supports research on subjects ranging from complexity, evolution, and infinity to creativity, forgiveness, love, and free will.

For tickets and more information about the production, visit

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