"Time's Up"

On Wednesday, July 19, we sum up our series on Time and Memory with "Time and the Conways" (1937), by British playwright J.B. Priestley. Part family chronicle, part exploration of a philosophy of time, "Time and the Conways" begins in 1919, just after the Great War; leaps to 1938, "just before the next War" (as one character presciently predicts); then returns to 1919.  Here's a guide to the Conway family circle.  Time Magazine found the play "poetic and revelatory," The Times (of London) called it "accurate and perceptive," & The Times Literary Supplement considered it "chilling" yet "compassion[ate]." It "should be seen by all taking an intelligent interest in the theatre" (Daily Telegraph). Priestley's other plays include "I Have Been Here Before" (1937) & "An Inspector Calls" (1946).

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 inexpensive nearby garages & parking lots. Dinner begins at 6:30; our discussion takes place from 7:30-9:30. Make reservations by e-mailing [email protected] or calling 202-638-0444.

You can find "Time" only at your local library or (for a special Footlights discount) through Backstage Books, 545 8th St., SE (202-544-5744). Backstage will mail you a copy for a nominal charge; order now to allow time for delivery. "Time and the Conways" runs through October 28 at the Shaw Festival, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. For further information call 800-511-SHAW or visit

More "Stories"

We may still have a few tickets ($16, nonrefundable) for the Sunday, July 16 3 p.m. performance of our June play, "Collected Stories," at Theater J, 1529 16th St. (at Q St.), NW. Mail your check to Robin Larkin, 5403 Nibud Ct., Rockville, MD 20852 (240-669-6300 & [email protected]). Robin will distribute tickets in the lobby just before the performance. Afterwards we'll have dinner at Lauriol Plaza, 1835 18th St., NW, where "Tex-Mex meets high-tech" (Washingtonian Magazine). Contact Robin for reservations.

Struggle for Survival

The increasingly competitive world of the 21st century will require new survival skills. To meet the challenge, in September Footlights starts a new series: "Survival of the Fittest." Training begins in the boxing ring, on Wednesday, September 13, with Howard Sackler's "The Great White Hope" (1967). This fact-based drama portrays the rise & fall of the first African-American world heavyweight champion, whose pugilistic prowess & crossracial magnetism spurred a racist society to destroy him. "Highly theatrical and hugely rewarding" (New York Daily News), "The Great White Hope" is "spectacular" & "stunning" (Women's Wear Daily), with "epic scope and range" (The New York Times). It won the 1969 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Director Molly Smith will guide our September discussion at Luna Books, 1633 P St., NW. RSVP after July 19 to [email protected]. We'll attend "The Great White Hope" Thursday, September 21, at 8 p.m., at Arena Stage, 1101 6th St., SW. Tickets are $28. Mail your check to Robin Larkin, 5403 Nibud Ct., Rockville, MD 20852.

Footlights on Stage

On Wednesday August 2, at 8 p.m., the Washington Theatre Festival will present staged readings of three new one-act plays. They include "Spirit Sisters," by our own Debbie Jackson, & "Killer Blues," by our own Roy Berkowitz & starring Debbie Jackson. Tickets cost $15 & readings take place at the Source Theatre, 1835 14th St., NW. For tickets & a complete festival schedule, call 202-462-1073.

From July 11-August 13, the Potomac Theatre Festival will present "Sueno," a new adaptation of the Spanish classic "La Vida es Sueno (Life is a Dream)" (1635), by Pedro Calderon de la Barca. Original Footlights member Jose Carrasquillo will direct. Tickets cost $15-32. From July 19-August 6, the festival will present Tom Stoppard's "Arcadia" (1993), which we discussed in December 1996. Tickets cost $10. Performances of "Sueno" & "Arcadia" take place at Olney Theatre Center for the Arts, 2001 Olney-Sandy Spring Rd. (MD-108), Olney, MD. For tickets & a complete festival schedule, call 301-924-3400.


Wednesday, July 19, 6:30 p.m.: "Time and the Conways," Delray Viet Gdn
Wednesday, September 13, 6:30 p.m.: "The Great White Hope," Luna Books
Thursday, September 21, 8 p.m.: "The Great White Hope," Arena Stage
Monday, October 16, 6:30 p.m.: "Inherit the Wind," Luna Books
Thursday, November 9, 6:30 p.m.: "The Madwoman of Chaillot," Delray Viet

Saturday, November 11, 2 p.m.: "The Madwoman of Chaillot," Olney Theatre

Wednesday, December 20, 6:30 p.m.: "K2," Luna Books
Tuesday, January 2, 7:30 p.m.: "K2," Arena Stage