a reading of ANNE & ADA by Rachel Bonds directed by Linsay Firman
After the sudden death of their parents, Anne and Ada are left to live alone and at odds with one another in their childhood home. As Anne folds in on herself, longing for the safety of childhood, Ada bristles under her new duties as caretaker. They each forge a relationship with the mysterious and sometimes malevolent figure, The Visitor, who allows the sisters to explore the far and dark reaches of their separate desires, memories and grief.
The theater is on the second floor of the Pier 17 Mall
with Julie Fitzpatrick, Kevin Collins, Megan Tusing, Matt Steiner, Stephanie Wright Thompson and Joby Earle
I've been working on this play for some time now. Linsay served as a mentor for me during the play's earliest stages, and then we collaborated on a developmental workshop of the script at New Georges. I've completely revised the play since that workshop, but haven't had the chance to work with actors on this very new draft. I'm very excited. Linsay is very excited. The reading is the same night as the OBIES, unfortunately---so if you find yourself without a ticket to those, know that you will always have a ticket to the seaport, and to Bloodworks, and to my heart.
I write a lot about grief. This play is no exception. I got interested in exploring what happens to siblings after the death of a parent (or in this case, both parents), particularly after the shock has worn off---after the funeral and the planning and the ability to bury oneself in those "things that need to get done." I'm interested in that time a year or two years or three years after you lose someone, when the rest of the world seems to be running speedily by, as though nothing has happened. And you can't seem to get yourself back into the pace of things. Somehow you feel you can't catch up. This play explores that isolation experienced by two sisters, Anne and Ada---examining the way that grief has pulled them apart and put them at odds with one another. The Visitor*** character---a charismatic but eerie figure, a shape-shifter of sorts, embodies this conflict, emerging from the depths of their childhood home, the house that has come to represent for Anne their old life, happiness, the "way things used to be," and for Ada, all the things that make her feel old and far away from the life she wanted for herself.
The play is strangely relevant to me lately, as my grandmother passed away recently, and my sister, aunts, cousins and I are trying to figure out what to do with her house. It's in terrible disrepair---and I'm going down to Richmond in two weeks to start sorting through her belongings, photos, paintings, furniture, etc, as we decide whether to sell the house where my father and his sisters grew up, where I have so many memories, or to fix it up, maintain it, and keep it within the family. (The picture posted above is my grandmother's house.)
So---skip the OBIES and come to the reading. The cast is fantastic and expertly directed by Linsay Firman. I would love to have you there.
Also----here's a This American Life podcastthat really gets at the tone and feeling I'm exploring in the play. My friend Dylan Dawson (of Forks! Forks! Forks! fame and a fantastic playwright) passed this on to me after reading an earlier draft of A&A.
***Footnote (because I love footnotes): I was taking a writing workshop in Prague (which I found to be a dark, beautiful, but very haunted city) when the seed of this play took shape. Robin Hemley, who led my workshop, said, (and this is not a direct quote...but it is how I remember it) "There are two kinds of stories. The Visitation and The Journey. Know which one you are writing." And so I got obsessed with that idea of "The Visitation," which is where the character of "The Visitor" originally came from.