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Sherman Players To Open Season With Trilogy Of Lesser-Known Williams Works



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SHERMAN — The Sherman Players will open their 94th season with a trilogy of lesser known yet powerful and resonant plays by Tennessee Williams.

Director Katherine Almquist says she has been a devotee of the great American playwright for as long as she can remember and finds these three shorter works to be “relevant and timely.” Ms Almquist and cast member Agnes Fohn recently shared their inspiration for the production of these works in advance of their opening night, planned for March 6.

Written in the 1960s, the plays — The Gnadiges Fraulein, This Property Is Condemned and A Perfect Analysis Given by A Parrot — tell stories of survival against the odds.

In each piece, according to Ms Almquist, circumstances and characters vary widely and “yet feel familiar.” The playwright allows his characters to find humor and absurdity in the conditions they experience as they evoke compassion and empathy for their struggles.

The Gnadiges Fraulein is on first and features the talents of Ms Fohn, Beth Bonnanbeau, Robin Frome, Noel DeSiato, and David Almquist. The central characters are permanent transients who live on the fringes while inhabiting a surreal rickety bunkhouse in the Florida Keys.

Two children, played by Ressa Nestor and Joseph Russo, find themselves abandoned in the Depression-era south in the second play, This Property is Condemned. Their inability to connect deepens their despair.

Stepping out to live it up on the town, the two women in A Perfect Analysis Given by a Parrot find the capacity to be exceedingly cruel to one another. These “two tarts,” according to Ms Fohn, played by Stacy Erickson Frome and Susan Abrams, travel from St Louis to Memphis in search of a good time. They are lifelong friends who turn on each other.

Ms Almquist says she has known of these plays for years and chose to stage them now because not only do they offer great roles for women, they also speak to current conditions of real people just trying to get by in a “time of increasing loneliness and lack of connection.”

The plays each offer a glimpse into a world of hurt and those who try unceasingly to survive in it with hope and humor.

Three by Tenn will be staged at The Sherman Playhouse, 5 Route 39 North, March 6-24. Evening performances are planned for Fridays and Saturdays at 8; matinees are scheduled for Sundays, March 15 and 22, at 2. Tickets are $24 for adults including senior citizens, and $12 for students and those ages 13 and under. Group discounts are available.

Call 860-354-3622 or visit shermanplayers.org for reservations or additional information.

The theater will also host a preview performance Thursday, March 5, at 8 pm. Contact the theater for details about that performance.

The production will also host a Three By Tenn LGBT & Friends Night on Friday, March 13. Print or use a smartphone to show the coupon on the theater’s website and save $5 off that show’s ticket and also enjoy a Cocaloony Cocktail on the house at intermission.

Three By Tenn cast member Agnes Fohn, left, and Director Katherine Almquist, with Abe, during a recent rehearsal for the production that will open the 94th season for The Sherman Players. Ms Almquist has selected three short works written in the 1960s by Tennessee Williams that she feels remain relevant and timely. —Elizabeth Young photo
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