Theater: Staged Reading
"Women of a Certain Age," election eve drama, Saturdays, Sept. 8 and 15, 7:30 p.m. Actors Theatre Playhouse, corner of Brook and Main St., Chesterfield. Tickets $8, reservations 877-666-1855 atplayhouse.org
The Actors Theatre Playhouse will present its final Saturday Staged Reading of the season of Richard Nelson's "Women of a Certain Age" on Saturdays, Sept. 8 and 15 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $8 for all seats and reservations can be made at our Toll Free Box Office Line 877 666 1855. For more information visit atplayhouse.org
Richard Nelson's WOMEN OF A CERTAIN AGE invites you to spend an evening around the kitchen table with Gabriel family of Rhinebeck, New York. The scene is the kitchen of the Gabriel family as they settle in for their final unforgettable evening in the old family homestead, forced to move out while awaiting the results of the presidential election on Nov. 8, 2016.
Patricia, the family matriarch, joins her children and daughters-in-law as they prepare a meal from the past and consider the future of their country, town and home. Paying tribute to the difficult year behind them, the Gabriels celebrate connection and creativity as they struggle to move forward together, comparing notes on the search for empathy and authenticity at a time when the game seems rigged and the rules are forever changing. Settle in for an unforgettable evening with one extraordinary, imperfect American family.
Subtitled `The Gabriels: Election Year in the Life of One Family', this play cycle began at the Public Theater in March of 2016 with Hungry and continued in September with What Did You Expect? The play is the third part of Nelson's Garbriel Trilogy, but stands on its own as a complete drama. You don't need to have seen the previous plays for a complete understanding of the script. Nelson worked all three plays over the course of two years with the same cast, and finished writing and rehearsing each play on eve of its first performance. So Women of a Certain Age finished rehearsal and writing on election eve, November 2016, with its first performance. The cast and its audience did not know whether Clinton or Trump would be the next President.
It follows Nelson's earlier experiment with the form in The Apple Family Plays, a four-part, real-time drama that debuted between 2010 and 2013 (later aired on PBS), in which the American political landscape is viewed through the prism of a liberal middle-class family in Duchess County, N.Y. The Gabriels live in the same town as the Apples, and like that family, their hopes and anxieties reflect those of a changing nation with stinging poignancy. Each play in the two series has premiered on the night when it's set, adding trenchant topicality that never feels like a gimmick.
Says playwright Richard Nelson, `With The Gabriels, as with my previous series The Apple Family plays, I am trying to create something else: an intimate world of very human conversations that you will want to lean forward to witness and overhear, as if you were watching and listening through a half opened window or keyhole. My hope is that with these plays, you will want to actively participate, by leaning in and actively listen.
Included in the cast are Maggie McGlone-Jennings, Lindsay Bartlett, Sadie Fischesser, Gini Brosius, Mark Ziter and Carrie Kidd, under the direction of Sam Pilo.
TALK TO US
If you'd like to leave a comment (or a tip or a question) about this story with the editors, please email us. We also welcome letters to the editor for publication; you can do that by filling out our letters form and submitting it to the newsroom.