A legally blind successful, well known painter from a socially distinguished Boston family and a jovial Jewish woman with a huge adoring family find themselves unlikely roommates in the “Mount Airy Nursing Home,” in Westchester, New York. The two women dream of returning to younger lives in Paris, and traveling there aboard the famous “Queen Elizabeth II.” The question is, can they possibly pull it off? The tension and comedy grow as these friends struggle to take wing one last time. The play highlights their human spirit, mischievousness and strength of character, despite various medical difficulties. Chasing Manet has an inspirational message at its core concerning the potential that lives in us all, no matter what the barriers, to defy expectations and take action to attain our dreams.
Born in 1937 and thus approaching eighty years old herself, Tina Howe is considered one of the most successful older women writers/ directors in theater. While her plays and plots tend to exist in a realistic setting, Howe maintains a strong affinity for the absurd.
The Valley Playhouse production features some familiar local actors and some new faces– including Lelia Hedrick, Jennifer Murch, Kathleen Holter, Kathy Gardner, Bill Bleeker, Buddy Garrison and Reilly Walker.Director Tom Arthur notes, “This play has some unique challenges in terms of acting and set design. A few scenes include five people whisking around stage in their wheelchairs. I don’t think Valley Playhouse has done anything quite like this before.”
What: Valley Playhouse’s performance of CHASING MANET
When: March 12-14/ March 19/21, 2014, 8 pm, Sunday matinees: March 15 & March 22, 3 pm.
Where: Arts Council of the Valley,Court Square Theater, 41F Court Square, Harrisonburg, VA
Tickets: valleyplayhouse.com or valleyarts.org/court-square-theater, $12 in advance or at the door; $10 for seniors or parties of ten or more. “Pay What You Will Night” Thursday, March 19