Be Captivated by “Forever” on Weston’s Second Stage
by Larry Murray
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.
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.” Performances take place in Weston’s intimate second performance space.
Forever begins performances July 14 and runs through July 31 at the Weston Rod and Gun Club, 982 Route 100 in Weston. Show times are Tuesdays-Saturdays at 7:30pm, Saturdays at 2pm, and Sundays at 3pm. It runs 90 minutes with no intermission. Given mature content and subject matter, Forever is recommended for patrons ages 16+. For tickets or to learn more about the play and its author/performer, visit westonplayhouse.org.
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.