Playhouse 2000 will reopen the VK Garage Theater on the Washington Street side of the Cailloux Theater with “Do Not Go Gentle,” by Suzan L. Zeder. The blackbox theater will seat the audience on three sides of the stage, no one more than a few feet from the actors—a perfect venue for a play about resolving ragged relationships after a family’s matriarch has died.
The playwright is a professor in the Department of Fine Arts at the University of Texas-Austin. She holds the endowed chair in Theatre for Youth/Playwriting at UT and her plays have been produced all over the world. “Do Not Go Gentle” was commissioned by the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.
The Play2K cast for “Do Not Go Gentle” includes Louise Leahy as Lillian Barron, recently deceased mother, grandmother and beloved aunt; Michael Stanard, as her son, Windsor; Mary Orms, as Kelly, Lillian’s adored granddaughter; Barbara French, playing Lillian’s niece Joanna; Sarah St. Clair, as the very funny Mildred Flumac, who is organizing the estate sale; and Christopher Lewis as Nobody, a 12-year-old neighborhood boy who became close to Lillian in the last year of her life.
“Do Not Go Gentle” examines the power of the written word and art to change lives. It also explores many of the issues connected to aging, as well as other family issues, such as the relationship between a mother who hates war and the military and a son who is a career Air Force officer. The play’s story is poignant, funny, and in many ways familiar to any parent or child. The interplay between Nobody, the “invisible” boy is alternately comic and heartrending, as he tells his story in flashbacks and works to establish himself as a member of Lillian’s family.
The elegant set, designed by director Jim Boman, hints at without actually revealing all the pictures Lillian painted in her last year or so—on the walls, ceilings, windows, furniture and bathroom fixtures. This delights the younger generation—Kelly calls it a house with tattoos. However, the older generation finds it disturbing—Windsor more than Joanna. Mrs. Flumac, who lives and dies by the cliché, is simply annoyed because it interferes with her setup for the estate sale.
The show will open on Friday, April 20, and will run at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday evenings through May 5. There will be a Sunday matinee at 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 29. Seating is limited and reservations are recommended. Call 830-896-9393 or go to the Cailloux Theater website to purchase tickets.