ATP presents reading of ‘Breath of Life’


WEST CHESTERFIELD. N.H. -- British playwright Sir David Hare’s "Breath of Life" is featured in a Saturday Staged Reading at the Actors Theatre Playhouse featuring Terri Storti and Shoshana Rihn as two women with a common need to confront their "shared" past together.

What they shared was one man. Burt Tepfer directs.

Readings are scheduled on Sept. 7 and 14, at 7:30 p.m. All tickets are $ 6. Reservations are not required. The Playhouse toll-free line is 877-666-1855. For information, visit

Staged Readings have been part of the Actors Theatre Playhouse’s programming for many seasons now. It enables actors to sit at at a table and fully perform with script in hand. It is not a concert reading, but a fully realized performance, minus scenery and staging.

"Breath of Life" opened in London in 2002 and starred Dame Maggie Smith and Dame Judy Dench. It was the first time the two women had appeared together on the London stage and was sold out for months before it opened.

"Life being what it is, one dreams of revenge." Gauguin’s epigram serves as the motto for this moral tale of two women, both in their 60s, whose lives are interwoven in ways neither of them yet understands. Madeline Palmer (Shoshana Rihn) is a retired curator, living alone on the Isle of Wight. One day Frances Beale (Terri Storti) comes to her door, a woman she has met only once, who is now enjoying sudden success, late in life, as a popular novelist. The result is a surprising and profound meditation on what can emerge when a man’s wife and mistress confront each other.

In Hares’ articulate British comedy, expect witty dialogue, strong liberal political opinions and a sort of reconciliation after each gains understanding of themselves, the other woman, and their shared significant other.

Hare himself, who received three Tony award nominations on Broadway ("Plenty," "Racing Demons" and "Skylight") as well as two Academy Award nominations for screenplays, is adept at writing female characters.

Director Burt Tepfer says, "I was so fortunate to be able to get two of Brattleboro’s finest actresses to perform this challenging play. Two women on a stage come face to face to explore the truth of their lives. I look forward to how our audiences will respond."


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