Emerald Pig Theatrical Society presents Trying, a play about trying to hold on to the past, trying to move forward into the future, trying to help, trying to help oneself, trying to change, trying to stay the same.
The play is based on the real experiences of the playwright, Joanna McClelland Glass, working for Judge Francis Biddle in 1967.
The play, directed by Simon Challenger, is a heart-warming story of a trying relationship that evolves into understanding, mutual respect and friendship.
Judge Francis Biddle, a brilliant legal mind, appointed by Harry Truman to the Nuremberg Tribunal in 1946 and Attorney General under Franklin Delano Roosevelt, now finds himself functioning somewhere between lucidity and senility.
The action of the play is set in Georgetown, Washington, D.C., in November 1967 and tracks the last year of Judge Biddles life from the perspective of a young Saskatchewan girl who comes to work for him as his secretary.
He is set in his ways, frustrated, and demanding. Many secretaries have quit, until Sarah Schorr, who, in her own words, is a bugger for work and will not stop trying until she has helped him to organize his memoirs and leave his legacy.
Trying was first produced at Chicagos Victory Gardens Theatre in March 2004 and both actors won Tony awards for their work.
Emerald Pigs production stars veteran actor John Stuart as Judge Biddle. Although Stuart admits to feeling closer and closer to the character as he experiences his own aging process, Kelsea Dobson, a brilliant young makeup artist who recently graduated from New Image College of Fine Arts, has helped to create the physical illusion of a man in his 80s.
Emily Doreen Wilson shines as Sarah Schorr. Audiences may remember Wilson from last years production of A Particular Class of Women, which won Best Production and Best Ensemble awards at the Fraser Valley Zone Drama Festival.
Wilson must undergo many of her own physical changes during the play, which takes place over the course of a full year. The challenges for her as an actress have involved understanding her character and the role of women in the 1960s.
Why does Sarah stay and put up with this crotchety old man? Why does she try? There is a depth to Sarah that is gently revealed and shows us the connections we all have with our fellow human beings, regardless of our superficial differences.
Doug Huggins has once again created a brilliant set design, a converted hayloft above an 1830s stable on Judge Biddles Georgetown estate.
Jeffrey Love, Chris Carver, Simon Challenger, and others have brought it to life, and, with the help of many set decorators and props scavengers, we have the physical representation of Judge Biddles long and illustrious career, and his now cluttered mind.
Mary-Ellen Smith fearlessly takes on the role of stage manager and Robyn van Luven, who starred recently in Tell Me On A Sunday, trades the spotlight for a flashlight backstage to assist with quick changes. Carole Dagenais and Marci Webb will share the technical duties in the booth, creating the sights and sounds of 1967. Sharon Malone as producer and Kathleen Hatley, front of house coordinator, invite the public to this drama that examines frailties as people age, changing relationships and, ultimately, the importance of trying.
Trying runs from May 7 to 11 at The ACT. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and the show starts at 8 p.m.
All tickets are only $20 and are available at the ACT, by calling 604-476-2787, or online at www.theactmapleridge.org/Trying.
Trying is Emerald Pigs Fraser Valley zone drama festival entry and director Simon Challenger hopes it will be chosen to represent the region again in Kamloops in July at Mainstage, Theatre BCs provincial drama festival.
@ Copyright 2013