The colorful characters of 'Broth' come to life in a staged reading

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BRATTLEBORO >> As play director at Landmark College in Putney, Assistant Professor Nevada Bromley is always on the hunt for interesting material for her students to perform, usually from an outside source. "Broth," however, came from within. Set in the late '60s, the story line and characters for her play formulated in her brain, inspired by her time working with students. As she ruminated about what would happen in particular circumstances with unusual people "Broth" was born – a play about relationships and connections.

As Bromley put it, "I have an affinity for the late '60s. On the fringes of protests, riots, concerts were pockets of ordinary rural life that carried a certain softness. This is where I resided, as do the people in this play (although the town in Broth is larger). The events of the day, seemed only to touch me as wisps of psychedelic coloring and black and white news photos, which would later become iconic. Of course, that was my view, as a child. In reality, most adults were deeply affected by the events of the era. While "Broth" play has some serious, eventful moments, it is a comedy and audiences should expect some amusing surprises."

"Broth" was originally produced as a campus workshop production at Landmark College in 2011. This is the first full-length play for Bromley, a 90-minute, 3-act, comedic drama about a New England seaside boarding house and the zany characters who live there. Packed with entertaining dialogue, richly drawn characters, engaging plot twists and historical integrity, it is an uplifting play that explores the unexpected ways in which we form identity and make meaningful connections in our lives.

Bromley describes the play s follows: "The year is 1969. Nell Bannister runs the home where Winston studies to become a priest, Bridget cleans the rooms while secretly moonlighting as a go-go dancer, Mr. Waters cooks broth and serves advice, and Nell's teenage niece, Justine, tries to grow up without her mother. To raise money, Nell hosts the 'Quit Smokers,' a weekly support group comprised of souls from many walks of life, including: Laura, an aspiring author; Ned, a factory foreman; an itinerant hitchhiker named Moon; and Rupert, a Woolworths window decorator. When the bank sends a notice of foreclosure they all band together in an uproariously misguided plan to save the home. Packed with entertaining dialogue, richly drawn characters, engaging plot twists and historical integrity, 'Broth' is an uplifting play which explores the unexpected ways in which we form identity and make meaningful connections in our lives."

Bromley continued, "Foremost, 'Broth' is about sustenance. As humans, we often find nourishment in surprising places. Sometimes we are fortunate to possess real connections with family, but often they are formed outside of family, with people very different from ourselves. We can shy away from those odd connections which arrive as surprises, or lean in and see what happens. I find that interesting. And, dramatically, I find it highly entertaining when quirky characters are thrown together to solve a problem."

The Apron Theater and Next Stage Arts Project will present a staged reading of "Broth" on Sunday, Sept. 20 at 2 p.m. at The Hooker-Dunham Theater, 139 Main St., Brattleboro and will be directed by Karla Baldwin. Landmark College student Samuel Williams will be performing in the event. A $5 donation is suggested. For more information about the play contact 802-387-0102 or visit on her nevadabromley.com. Visit nextstagearts.org to purchase tickets online.

Contact Cicely M. Eastman at 802-254-2311 ext. 261.


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