By Kevin Berne
July 14-31 — WESTON — One of America’s most highly acclaimed playwrights and actors, Dael Orlandersmith is a Pulitzer finalist, an Obie winner, and a Drama Desk nominee.
In 2014, she brought her groundbreaking monologue “Stoop Stories” to Weston’s OtherStages. This summer she’s back with her latest “tour de force,” a gripping and beautiful, must-see memoir entitled “Forever.” Performances run July 14 through July 31 at the Weston Rod and Gun Club, 982 Route 100 in Weston. Show times are Tuesdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m.; Saturdays at 2 p.m.; and Sundays at 3 p.m. The show runs 90 minutes with no intermission.
Given mature content and subject matter, “Forever” is recommended for patrons ages 16 and over.
American Theatre Magazine calls Orlandersmith a “poet of life’s complexity” while The New York Times praises her gift for “raw immediacy.” She arrives in Vermont on the heels of “Forever’s” successful world premiere tour, where it garnered rave reviews from coast to coast. In Weston, her creative team is led by Producing Artistic Director Steve Stettler; set designer Brian Dudkiewicz; lighting designer Cory Pattak; costume designer Kaye Voyce; sound designer Adam Phelan; and stage manager Tina Shackleford.
Orlandersmith begins the play by conjuring the famed Pére Lachaise cemetery in Paris. She has journeyed there to visit the graves of her self-proclaimed forebears, artists like Oscar Wilde, Marcel Proust, Richard Wright, and Jim Morrison. Her writing is poetic, her voice authentic, and her delivery lyrical. She plays herself, her mother, and countless other characters, unraveling a tale of restless ghosts, tough circumstances, and salvation through art.
“Dael is a force of nature onstage, and ‘Forever’ represents her finest and bravest work,” comments Stettler. “Part of the play was written in Weston, and we are honored that she wanted to return to share it with the audience that embraced ‘Stoop Stories.’” Take advantage of an extraordinary opportunity to experience a remarkable talent and a celebrated new work in Weston’s intimate second performance space.
The Weston Playhouse Theatre Company received the 2015 Rosetta LeNoire Award from Actors’ Equity Association for its contributions to diversity. The company is in the midst of a $10 million capital campaign to create a year-round cultural center for retreats, workshops, and performances on its village campus in Southern Vermont.
For tickets or more information, visit westonplayhouse.org.