Long Wharf Theatre presents its upcoming Next Stage production of Still Life With Iris, by Steven Dietz, directed by Artistic Resident Elizabeth Nearing, Saturday, April 20 at 11 am and 2 pm, Sunday, April 21 at 2 pm, and Saturday, April 27 at 2 pm.
All tickets are pay what you can. The play will be performed on Stage II.
The cast includes Juliet Brett (Iris), Jesse Gabbard (Elmer/Grotto Good), James Leaf (Memory Mender/Mister Otherguy), Molly Leona (Leaf Monitor/Annabel Lee), Ilayda Muftuoglu (Hazel/Gretta Good), Jason Perry (Flower Painter/Mozart), Quinn Warren (Mom/Overlook), and PatRick White (Man/Mr. Matternot).
Still Life With Iris is the first play for young audiences to receive the Kennedy Center's Fund for New American Plays Award. Still Life with Iris is a fantastical adventure which centers on a little girl's search for the simplest of things: home. "We want to celebrate children's imaginations," said Sarah Chanis, production manager of the play. "The play is set in a wonderful, magical place, but there is quite a bit of reality there."
Iris lives with her mom in the land of Nocturno-a magical place in which the workers make, by night, all of the things we see in the world by day, a world where memories are kept as part of everyone's coats. The rulers of Nocturno, the Great Goods, are determined to have the "best" of everything on their island-and therefore take Iris away from her home and bring her to Great Island to be their daughter. To ease the pain of this separation, they remove her memories, leaving her with no recollection of her home or her family. Using a single clue, Iris joins with friends she meets on her journey-Annabel Lee (a young woman from the sea) and Mozart (the composer, age 11)-and frees herself from the Great Goods. Through her adventures, Iris regains her past and, most importantly, the thing that every child longs for - a home.
"The most important themes of the play touch on memory, preservation of a sense of self, and understanding that perfection isn't essential. Flaws can be a good thing," Nearing said. "My hope is that kids can walk away seeing themselves in the story. From SATS to BMI, there are so many numbers and labels attached to a kid. I think it is important for them to see that there is so much more to them than that."
The Next Stage program is a program for early career theatre professionals. This Next Stage program class of 2012-13 is comprised of Jacob Adams (electrics), Sera Bourgeau (costumes), Sarah Chanis (company management), Brittany Elias (props), Britta McCaffrey (scenery), Elizabeth Nearing (artistic), Cynthia Simonoff (sound), and Michelle Tuite (stage management).
For more information or to reserve tickets, call 203-787-4282 or visit www.longwharf.org.