Elements Theatre Company is showcasing A. R. Gurney's Pulitzer-nominated play, The Dining Room, a window into a vanishing class of society from the 1930s to the 1980s. The production runs May 19-27, 2012 at Elements Theatre, Paraclete House, Rock Harbor, Orleans, MA.
Seven actors play 59 characters in 18 scenes smoothly dovetailing from one to the next. With a myriad of lightning-speed character changes ranging from a 5 year-old boy to a 90 year-old grandfather, The Dining Room is a kaleidoscope of vignettes illustrating a wide range of human relationships.
The actual Dining Room is like a character in the play itself. At times there is great respect for the room and its history, and at other times great disdain. What has transpired in that room both informs and haunts some of the characters -- serving as a place to build relationships and to pass on traditions.
"One dining room becomes a kind of twilight zone for specific situations that are quite familiar to many of us. Though Gurney has set this play in a wealthy economic setting, the situations are universal -- often quite funny and very moving. The play is primarily about relationships -- the beginning of a new one, or the disintegration of an old one: a mother/daughter scene full of manipulation; a young boy set-up by his parents to wheedle money out of his grandfather; a family trying to cope with their mother's dementia. While the dining room fades in its importance, much of what the room has been used for comes under scrutiny for its continued relevance in a time and society that is becoming all about what is convenient, fast, and technologically driven," Danielle Dwyer, Artistic Director.
Elements Theatre Company is an ensemble of 16 actors who explore the vitality of the word and the deepest truths present in the text, by storytelling with imagination, honesty, and authenticity in both classical and modern works. The transformative work to become the text with a new and fresh perspective – to inhabit another world and live another's life – is both our pleasure and privilege. Living honestly as community in the rehearsal room provides a foundation of trust and dedication to this level of work and allows us to be available to the divine moment when inspiration, faithfulness, and love merge – transporting us beyond the familiar into something new. Elements Theatre Company performs year-round in Orleans, MA, and tours regularly, presenting workshops and performing at conferences, schools and churches.
Danielle Dwyer, Artistic Director and Co-Founder of Elements Theatre Company, has directed works from Oscar Wilde's Lady Windermere's Fan, Neil Simon's Rumors, Anton Chekov's The Cherry Orchard, and co-directed the New England premiere of the opera Pilgrim's Progress by Ralph Vaughan Williams. "The preparation was meticulous; one seldom sees an operatic production as powerful in conception and polished in execution as this "Pilgrim's Progress" (Richard Dyer, Boston Globe) Recent roles include: Malvolio, Twelfth Night; Eleanor The Lion in Winter; Mephistopheles, Doctor Faustus; Queen Elizabeth, Richard III, Lettice Douffet, Lettice and Lovage. Dwyer earned her MAA from England's Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and the University of London. She trained with Joanna Weir at Central School of Speech and Drama, David Male of Cambridge University, and Shakespeare & Company.
Performances are Friday and Saturday, May 18&19 7:30PM; Sunday, May 20 3:00 PM; Friday & Saturday May 25 & 26 7:30 PM; Sunday, May 27 3:00 PM. There will be Talk-Back with Actors May 19 & 20 after the show.
Tickets: $30; $25 seniors; 18 and under free; 508 240 2400 from www.elementstheatre.org