Open Eye to host reading of play

Margaretville — In its continuing support of local playwrights, and expanded programming for audiences in the Western Catskills, The Open Eye Theater presents a developmental reading of “Truce...?,” a new play by Wilma Mazo of Andes, on Tuesday, Sept. 4, at 7 p.m. The rehearsed reading will take place on stage at The Open Eye Theater, 960 Main Street, Margaretville.

Performing as mother and daughter in the drama are Naomi Fisch and Marge Helenchild. Patricia Brannen joins them as narrator of stage directions. Mazo, who is also an actress, and the three performers just completed eight performances of The Open Eye Theater’s collage production of very short plays, “Summer Shortcuts II.”

“This is a rehearsed reading in which actors assume their characters and interactions with script in hand, and with limited staging, costumes, and props,” explained producing artistic director Amie Brockway. “The purpose is to give playwrights an opportunity to see and hear their work with an audience, in a pre-production format.”

The story of the play centers on the celebrated Ruth Birnbaum Chamberlain, played by Marge Helenchild, who is a late-in-life child, now famous, and a fiftyish mother of two grown children. She has always sought recognition, respect, and love from her old-fashioned, strong-willed mother Sylvia, played by Naomi Fisch, who favors Ruth’s much older brother, Darling David, the Heart Surgeon. When Ruth falls in love with a man outside the faith, she incurs bigoted outrage and the near-abandonment of her mother; and Sylvia inadvertently poisons the siblings’ relationships with one another, as well.

Through this scenario of complex family relationships, Mazo explores the issue of whether mother and daughter can finally forgive one another and come together in a relationship of mutual respect and love. The reading will be followed by a conversation with actors, playwright, and audience.
Other rehearsed readings will be scheduled throughout the season, some focusing on the work of local playwrights, and some on actors working on interesting new projects. To inquire about participation in the series of readings, contact Amie Brockway at 586-1660.

Admission is $5. Dinner and theater arrangements for meals before the reading, and premium reserved seats are available with participating restaurants. For information and reservations, phone the theater office at 586-1880 or e-mail openeye@catskill.net.