The War at Home: Four play readings from American theater

Posted September 22, 2017

The War at Home: Four play readings from American theater

Metropolitan State’s fall theater performances are free and open to the public. No tickets or reservations necessary.  Devised by Scott M. Rubsam. Produced by Theater Underground, the School of Communication, Writing and the Arts, and Metropolitan State University’s Theater Program.

“Other Desert Cities”

By Jon Robin Baitz

7 p.m., Friday, Sept. 29
Minneapolis campus, Whitney Fine Arts Center, 1424 Yale Pl., Minneapolis.

Synopsis: Brooke Wyeth returns home to Palm Springs after a six-year absence.  She is there to celebrate Christmas with her parents, her brother and her aunt. It’s a family with differing political views and a long-held family secret.  Brooke announces she is about to publish a memoir dredging up a pivotal and tragic event in the family’s history – a wound they don’t want reopened.  In effect, she draws a line in the sand and dares them all to cross it.  A play about the making of art – in this case the publication of a book – that becomes a metaphor for the investigation and the cost of telling the truth.

“Marvin’s Room”

By Scott McPherson

7 p.m., Friday, Oct. 6
Minneapolis campus, Whitney Fine Arts Center, 1424 Yale Pl., Minneapolis.

Synopsis: Scott McPherson’s dark and mordantly funny comedy about one woman’s commitment to caring for her family first, even in the face of personal tragedy.  A man who had a stroke twenty years ago is now bedridden. He is cared for by his daughter Bessie in their Florida home, totally ignored by his other daughter, Lee who has moved to Ohio. In the twenty years she has been gone, she has never contacted her family.  Now, however, Bessie’s doctor has informed her that she has a medical problem, a life and death situation, and needs a bone marrow transplant. She turns to her sister, Lee, for help. Lee in turn, turns to her son Hank who has been committed to a mental institution for setting fire to his mother’s house.  How these often-times humorous events all play out are the heart … and soul of “Marvin’s Room.”

“The Subject Was Roses”

By Frank D. Gilroy

7 p.m., Friday, Oct 13
Minneapolis campus, Whitney Fine Arts Center, 1424 Yale Pl., Minneapolis.

Synopsis: Timmy Cleary returns home from his service during World War II. While he seems to vindicate himself in his father’s eyes for surviving the war, his drinking and cursing disturb his mother.  Though his parents, John and Nettie, seem to be happy, the peace prove to be a façade.  Soon old emotional wounds and unresolved marital problems resurface.  Caught in the middle, Timmy feels responsible for their squabbling, but can see no way to resolve their problems.

“Brighton Beach Memoirs”

By Neil Simon

7 p.m., Friday, Oct. 20
Minneapolis campus, Whitney Fine Arts Center, 1424 Yale Pl., Minneapolis.

Synopsis: Dreaming of baseball and girls, Eugene Morris Jerome must cope with the mundane existence of his family life in 1937 Brooklyn during The Great Depression, right before the start of the War.  There is the formidable mother, the overworked father and a worldly older brother.  Throw into the mix a widowed aunt and two female cousins all living under the same roof, and you have the recipe for hilarity, served up Simon-style.