BY JANET ALLEN, EXECUTIVE ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
The Baby Boom generation grew up thinking they’d somehow never grow old. Morning After Grace penetrates that absurdity, even while holding its fallacy in forgiveness and understanding. Few plays chart this territory: a middle ground between loss and surrender. Much hope and life are possible there, but it can require a fierce negotiation—with the world, with one’s body, in one’s relationships, even with one’s memories—a negotiation that earlier phases of life did not seem to require. Going on against great odds, when the past seems to outweigh the future: that is the task at hand for the characters in this charming and insightful play.
Angus, Abigail, and OIlie are unlikely confidantes. They are thrown together by circumstance and chance, and a large part of the impact of the play springs from that sense of the unknown. What will they choose out of these odd circumstances? What will they learn? What do they tell each other simply because they think there is little chance they will actually develop friendships? How does age loosen their tongues? There are puzzles upon puzzles in these characters. We are drawn into their explorations of one another because the chance of their connection ignites a kind of brutal honesty that is rare in human interaction—and that is particularly potent in the theatre.
How do we negotiate and survive the loss of our past? That is largely the question of the play. For a generation who was taught to seize and make their own power, reckoning with loss of power can be devastating. It very nearly is so for Angus. But Abigail and Ollie’s different brands of courage cause Angus to see the world anew—or at least to want to try to do so. Aging is hard, we know. But aging with open-hearted acceptance is an even harder path. And that path can only be negotiated by keeping old friends—or finding new friends—who will walk the road with you, flaws and scars and all.
The IRT produces top-quality, professional theatre that engages, surprises, challenges and entertains people throughout their lifetimes, helping to build a vital and vibrant community.
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