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FROM THE FOOTLIGHTS - February 2000

"Penetrating" Precipitation

On Tuesday, February 15, we continue our series "Time and Memory: Looking Forward, Looking Back" with "Three Days of Rain" (1997), by Richard Greenberg. "Rain" begins in 1995, as children of a famous architect puzzle over a cryptic entry in their late father's diary. Act Two shows what really happened. "Subtle and absorbing" (New York Times), "Three Days of Rain" presents a "penetrating view of family ties [and] the tricks of time" (Chicago Tribune). It "heralds the arrival of a major playwright" (New York Daily News) & "should not be missed by anyone who cares about theater" (Los Angeles Times).  

Our meeting will feature director Jerry Whiddon, artistic director of the Round House Theatre, where Whiddon has directed ("Jack & Jill," "Travels With My Aunt") or acted ("Uncle Vanya," "The Lion in Winter") in over 30 productions. He received his 4th Helen Hayes nomination for his performance in Heather McDonald's "An Almost Holy Picture." "Three Days of Rain" opens at the Round House January 26.

We will meet at Delray Vietnamese Garden, 4918 Del Ray Ave., a few blocks N of Bethesda metro. Take both up escalators, turn left onto Old Georgetown Rd., walk up to Del Ray Ave. & turn right. The neighborhood has several cheap garages & parking lots. Dinner begins at 6:30 & our discussion at 7:30. Make reservations by e-mailing painews@bellatlantic.net  or calling 202-638-0444.

"Rain" falls, in a Grove Press collection & for a special Footlights discount, at Olsson's Books & Records, 1307 19th St., NW (202-785-1133), & at Politics & Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave., NW (202-364-1919); and in a Dramatists Play Service edition at Backstage Books, 2101 P St., NW (202-775-1488).

"Rain" at the Round House

At 3 p.m. Saturday, February 19, Footlights will attend "Three Days of Rain" at the Round House Theatre, 12210 Bushey Dr., between Randolph & Veirs Mill Roads in Silver Spring. Tickets are $16 & include a post-performance discussion. We must receive payment by February 7--also the deadline for refunds--but we'll probably sell out before then. So mail your check today (payable to Footlights) to Robin Larkin, 5403 Nibud Ct., Rockville, MD 20852 (robin.larkin@erols.com & 240-669-6300). Robin will distribute tickets in the lobby just before the performance.

End of "Rain" Brings "Light"

On Wednesday, March 15 Footlights continues "Looking Forward, Looking Back" with a brand-new play: "Available Light" (2000), by Heather McDonald. "Available Light" tells the true story of a 15-year-old farm boy, in 1835 Normandy, who killed his mother, brother, & sister with a pruning hook. McDonald is one of America's leading historical dramatists.  Her award-winning "Dream of a Common Language" (1992), "a moving and rather haunting play" (Chicago Tribune), vividly portrays the plight of women impressionist artists in the 19th century. She set "Faulkner's Bicycle" (1985) in the 1940s American south &, in "The Rivers and Ravines" (1991), explored the American farm crisis of the late 1970s. McDonald will direct the world premiere of "Available Light" March 7-April 16 at the Signature Theatre, 3806 S. Four Mile Run Drive, Arlington. We'll attend the 2 p.m. performance Sunday, March 26. Tickets are $23 but we have almost none left. To learn about ticket availability, call 240-669-6300 or e-mail robin.larkin@erols.com. And plan to RSVP early for our March 15 meeting. We may need to limit attendance: our guest speaker will be playwright Heather McDonald herself.

Footlights on Stage

On Monday February 7, at 6 p.m. & again at 7:30, the Source Theatre will present "Your New Century Friends and Neighbors," a set of 6 short plays by DC-area playwrights. The evening will include "Visitation," by our own Debbie Jackson, & "Goin' Under," by our own Roy Berkowitz & starring Debbie Jackson. A production of "Visitation" marked Debbie's New York debut last January, & Roy's "Goin' Under" won the 10-minute play competition at last summer's Washington Theatre Festival. Performances take place at the National Theatre, 1321 Pennsylvania Ave., NW. Admission is free but seating is limited. Tickets will be distributed 30 minutes before each performance. For more information call 202-783-3372 or visit http://www.nationaltheatre.org/Monday/Current-Mon.html. If you're traveling, stop off in Columbus, OH, where Roy's play "'Neitzsche' Ate Here" will open Shadowbox Theatre's second stage, the 2Co's Cabaret, on Thursday February 3.

Calendar

Sunday, January 30, 2 p.m.: "Stop Kiss," Woolly Mammoth Theatre
Tuesday, February 15, 6:30 p.m.: "Three Days of Rain," Delray Viet Gdn
Saturday, February 19, 3 p.m.: "Three Days of Rain," Round House Theatre
Wednesday, March 15, 6:30 p.m.: "Available Light," Luna Books
Sunday, March 26, 2 p.m.: "Available Light," Signature Theatre
Thursday, April 13, 6:30 p.m.: "All My Sons," Luna Books