Saturday, February 17, 2018

From Door to Door explores multi-generational family issues

January 18, 2017 by Adam Boyle, staff Writer

From Door to Door is a new play focused around three generations of women in a family and how they each grow and adapt to their own situations. But how can such a small cast successfully perform as three generations’ worth of characters? Director Zelda Dean says she won’t give away how they pull it off, but she says that the transition is seamless.

“It’s a very tricky play to sum up,” she says. “The scenes are very quick but very simple. We don’t have any fancy production values or anything—no change of costume, no props. But the actors walk effortlessly from one scene to the next, changing from somebody who is 75 to somebody who is 25. They do it in the snap of a finger. I won’t give away how, though.”

Dean hopes that the audience takes away some thoughts on family and how, no matter what, most of us will always have family to support us through whatever may happen.

Three generations of women and the relationships between them are explored in From Door to Door (photo by Rob Macklem).

“No matter how we feel about our family, they’re still our family,” she says. “We often don’t understand why they are the way they are. We know more about our friends than we do our own family. I hope people walk away from this going, ‘Hmm, I’m going to think about my crazy auntie and uncle and why they are how they are.’”

Finding people who could portray these characters was no easy task. Dean says that she and the crew were lucky with who they found, as they fit into the roles perfectly.

“Finding the actors that could handle this challenge was hard,” she admits. “The actress who is playing the mother, she has to jump from the opening scene, where she is 90, to the next scene, where she’s 10. So the three actors I have are all very remarkable.”

Dean says there are many struggles involved in getting a story ready for production; she says that finding out the meaning behind what the playwright is trying to say can be particularly challenging.

“The next hardest thing was finding the truth in this play,” she says. “I’ve worked with many playwrights over the years, and when you have the playwright right there next to you, you know you’re on the right track. But when you don’t, and you’ve got a play as complex as this, one of the hardest things is being able to say what the playwright, hopefully, intended to be said. This particular play has been done with some lavish production values in some places in the world, and other times very simply. I took a very simple approach to it because I thought the words were so incredible.”

From Door to Door
Thursday, January 19
2:30 pm Sunday, January 22
$20, Congregation Emanu-El Synagogue

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