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. Not a concert reading, but a fully realized performance, minus scenery and staging.
“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 finally confront each other. In Hares’ articulate British comedy, you can also 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, who received three Tony Award nominations on Broadway (“Plenty,” “Racing Demons,” and “Skylight”) as well as two Academy Award nominations for screenplays, is particularly adept at writing female characters.
Though he has written many plays with political themes, several of his plays in mid-career, including “Breath of Life” and “Skylight,” deal with revisiting our past. He seems to be saying that by a concentrated look at relationships, people can face their futures.
All tickets are $6. Reservations are not required. The Playhouse information line is (877) 666-1855 or visit www.ATPlayhouse.org.