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June 1, 2012 > Theatre Review: Invitation to "Wedding" at Douglas Morrisson

Theatre Review: Invitation to "Wedding" at Douglas Morrisson

Submitted By Susan E. Evans

The Douglas Morrisson Theatre continues its 2012 "Family Portraits" season with the rarely revived drama, "The Member of the Wedding" by Carson McCullers. Directed by Eric Fraisher Hayes, the play features an ensemble of Bay Area performers including Alexandrai Bond as Berenice, Katy Nealon as Frankie, Ruby Buckwalter as John Henry, Joe Fitzgerald as Mr. Adams, Dorian Lockett as T.T., Cornell White-Cockrell as Honey, Alex Skinner as Jarvis, Alisha Ehrlich as Janice, Marsha Howard as Mrs. West, Dillon Aurelio-Perata as Barney, Bessie Zolno as Helen, and Samantha Cowan as Doris.

"The Member of the Wedding" is a masterful exploration of issues of identity and of black/white race relations in the Deep South. Set in Georgia in 1945, Carson McCullers' sensitive play deserves to be discovered anew by Bay Area theatre audiences. A poignant coming-of-age drama adapted by McCullers from her own novel, the play tells the story of twelve-year old tomboy, Frankie, a restless, bored and lonely soul, jealous of her brother's impending marriage. Playing three-handed bridge with her seven-year old cousin, John Henry and her surrogate mother, Berenice, the black family cook, Frankie longs to escape the summer heat with her big brother and his fiance. She dreams of becoming the "we of me."

Premiering at the Empire Theatre on Broadway on January 5, 1950, "The Member of the Wedding" won the 1950 New York Drama Critics' Circle Award for Best Play. Of the original production, John Mason Brown wrote in The Saturday Review: "Mrs. McCullers's study of the loneliness of an over-imaginative young Georgian girl is no ordinary play. It is felt, observed, and phrased with exceptional sensitivity. It deals with the torturing dreams, the hungry egoism, and the heartbreak of childhood in a manner as rare as it is welcome ... it has a magic of its own."

"The Member of the Wedding" previews on June 7, opens June 8, and runs through July 1. Shows are at 8 p.m. with Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. Saturday, June 23 there will be two performances - 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. There will also be a special post-play discussion after the Saturday matinee on June 23. Tickets are $10 for the preview, $20 for the Saturday matinee, and $28 for Thursday through Saturday evening performances and Sunday matinees. Discounts are available for seniors, students, TBA, KQED members, and groups of ten and over.

The Box Office is open Tuesday through Friday, 12:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. and can be reached at (510) 881-6777. Information is also available at www.dmtonline.org.

The Member of the Wedding
[Preview: Thursday, June 7, 8 p.m.]
June 8 - July 1
8 p.m. (Sunday matinees: 2 p.m.)
Douglas Morrisson Theatre
22311 N. Third St., Hayward
(510) 881-6777
www.dmtonline.org.
Tickets: $10 - $28

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