Sunday Play Reading Series
May 17: “Spike Heels,” by Theresa Rebeck, directed by Rachel Schulte, is about Andrew, a struggling writer and college professor, who takes in working-class Georgie as his “student” of the proper ways of modern middle-class society while simultaneously falling in love with her. Andrew’s friend Edward, a hot-shot lawyer who took Georgie on as a secretary as a favor to Andrew, falls for her as well but in a more…aggressively sexual way, ensnaring himself and Georgie in an incident of harassment and power play in the workplace. This untraditional love triangle makes room for a fourth with the entrance of Lydia, Edward’s ex and fiancée and thus Georgie’s…foe…or maybe her ally? Lines are blurred in this intense dark comedy full of fast-paced dialogue rife with “stinging one liners” (NY Daily News) and “tart wit” (Time). In the playwright’s words, this is a retelling of “the Pygmalion story with contemporary, comic and sinister spin,” exploring the complicated confusion of modern-day relationships and challenging the American sexual status-quo.
June 28: “Blue Window,” by Craig Lucas, directed by Melinda Zupaniotis. Several people, some of them couples, seek an elusive intimacy in a gathering at one person's home. The seven characters in the play are all facing different crises of commitment. Libby, a single woman, is terrified of being held, yet wants connection desperately enough to plan her first party in seven years. Two of the guests are unattached--Griever, a funny, mercurial fellow from Libby's therapy group who would like to be attached to her, and Norbert, a sober, gentle sky-diving instructor. The other two are couples. Alice and Boo have a stable lesbian relationship that is undergoing a crisis caused by overworking. Tom and his girlfriend, Emily, have a far more tenuous bond. Tom is a self-absorbed musician and Emily is passive and inarticulate. Before and after the party, all the characters live in the same space, surrealistically unaware of each other. The overlapping dialogue is at first confusing and overwhelming. Yet while the structure of this play may be offbeat, the characters eventually grow tangible as their lives begin to intermingle.
July 26: “Mothers and Sons,” by Terence McNally, directed by Jordon Hensley. At turns funny and powerful, MOTHERS AND SONS portrays a woman who pays an unexpected visit to the New York apartment of her late son's partner, who is now married to another man and has a young son. Challenged to face how society has changed around her, generations collide as she revisits the past and begins to see the life her son might have led. Strikingly timely and deeply compassionate, MOTHERS AND SONS is about the evolving definition of family and the healing power of forgiveness.
August 23: “The Twilight of the Golds,” by Jonathan Tolin, directed by Anthony Carregal. If your parents knew before you were born what you would become, would you be here? That is one of many questions posed by Twilight of the Golds. It begins as a light comedy about a close, caring family, and evolves into a powerful, thought-provoking drama about family ties and the limitations of love.
September 27: “The Golem,” by H. Leivick, adapted by David Fishelson, from a translation by Joseph C. Landis, directed by Joel Fenste r is based on Leivick's 1921 "dramatic poem in eight scenes." It is a reworking of a legend of Judah Loew ben Bezalel, known as the Maharal, a great rabbi of Prague. In the legend, he animates a golem, a being crafted from inanimate material. There is an admixture of material of Christian origin and probably influence from Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. Leivick's version includes several messiah figures including "The Man With the Cross", and is strongly focused on the plight of the golem, animated against his will and wrestling with his particular form of the human condition, and, secondarily, of the rabbi, a "creator whose creation does not respond in accordance with his plan.” Drenched in the magic and mystery of the Kabbala, THE GOLEM retells the legend of a sixteenth-century Rabbi in Prague who defies God when he molds and animates a huge clay figure to defend the Jewish community from attack. Written in Yiddish in 1921 by Russian expatriate H. Leivick, THE GOLEM was astonishingly prophetic of the events of the Holocaust and the birth of the State of Israel. In the wake of September 11th, the play carries with it even more powerful echoes of the dilemmas faced by our civilization today, especially the notion of whether we're forced to resort to violence to survive.
October 25: “Talking With…,” by Jane Martin, directed by Glenn Packman is composed of eleven ten-minute monologues, each featuring a different woman who talks about her life. The play deals with the personal ordeals of each of the female characters. Many of them are very touching; a few are even intensely emotional. However, there is also the very comical. Even the funny ones, however, have an underlying depth to them that gives a sensitive insight into each of the characters involved.