Play 2, 2011

Marvin's Room

by Scott McPherson

directed by Brian Cannon

SEASON CLOSED

 


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"Feelings are like a big bowl of fish-hooks.
I can't just pick them up one at a time.
I pick up one, they all come. 
So I tend to leave them alone."

The Play

Bessie is at Dr Wally's surgery again. Bessie is often here, as she spends all her time caring for her ill and elderly relatives,

Her sick father, thin as a bone and white as a bed sheet, likes to suck on odd objects... like Yahtzee dice.
Her ailing aunt, Ruth, has three collapsed vertebrae and an  electronic anesthetiser implanted in her brain to combat the pain. Unfortunately, it also opens the automatic garage door whenever she uses it.
 
"I'm always lugging one of them in here for something or other."

Now it's her turn to be sick.
It might be just a vitamin deficiency. But it might be... something more.
 
The close combination of humour and tragedy is just one of the strengths of this play.
Is it a very dark comedy or a modern morality play? More likely, both. The New York Times called Marvin's Room, "one of the funniest plays of this year as well as one of the wisest and most moving".

It won the 1992 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Play, and was made into a very successful film with Meryl Streep, Dianne Keaton and Leonardo DiCaprio.
 

The Playwright

Scott W. McPherson, the actor and playwright who wrote Marvin's Room, passed away tragically at the age of 33.

He wrote for local television and acted in four theatre companies, including a production of Larry Kramer's play, The Normal Heart. He wrote two other plays,  'Til the Fat Lady Sings, and Scraped.

 

The Director

Brian Cannon has directed and appeared in numerous plays for Villanova Players. In 2007 he directed the powerful The Beauty Queen of Leenane and in 2008, Edith Stein. His most recent on stage appearances were in 2010 as the proud industrialist, Mr Birling, in An Inspector Calls, Henry in Cosi in 2009, the judge in To Kill a Mockingbird in 2005 and the swaggering, belligerent Big Daddy in Tennessee Williams's Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.

 


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