Saturday, July 19, 2008

My Mom comments on "Jane"

I am preparing for another staged reading of my play about my mother and my grandfather. The last one was at Ensemble Studio Theater, over a year ago, in conjunction with their First Light Festival.

As it happens, I have a tape of an even earlier version, a twenty minute one-act directed by Ian W. Hill. I showed my Mom the tape yesterday. She had been in audience, but she had forgotten it.

My play is based greatly on found text, most frequently transcripts of interviews I had with my Mom just after she had her stroke three years ago.

And as long as I'm handing out praise--I was reminded how well everyone did in the one-act, some of whom have stuck around and helped tremendously with the development of the play since. I also really appreciated the touches Ian added. The music was particularly well chosen, and I am ripping off his ideas for the comic book scene, as I did for the reading at EST (my grandfather appeared in a comic book, which I use as part of the found text)

When my Mom saw Ian's version live, she had called out a few corrections to the audience (the cast rolled with that very well).

This time she watched it more in silence. At one point, after a particularly poignant passage from our interviews, she turned to me and asked "Does she hurt?"

"I don't know, what do you think?" I asked.

"I know you don't know," she said. "But she does."

Afterwards, she declared she very much enjoyed the play. "What did you like best?" I asked.

"The plot," she said. "Of course, there was no plot."

I like that part, too.

Anyway, the reading is going to be at Manhattan Rep (303 W. 42nd St., 3rd floor) Sunday, July 27, at 7:30pm. It stars Peter Bean, Rufus Collins, Rosalynd Darling, Madelene DeLeon, Josh Mertz, Alyssa Simon, and me (I have decided to play myself, for this reading...previously it was done by someone else)

It is a fundraiser for Re: Directions Theater (Tom Berger and Erin Smiley, producers). $10 requested.

Oh, and an official description:

Using found, fabricated, and occasionally finagled text, Edward Einhorn explores the life of his grandfather Alexander Wiener, the co-discoverer of the Rh factor in blood, through interviews with his mother Jane Einhorn, a PhD psychologist who recently retired due to a debilitating stroke. In the course of these interviews his grandfather's ambitions and achievements are contrasted with his mother's and ultimately with his own.

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