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MITF Solo Shows

Stage Left will host the following solo shows during the Midtown International Theatre Festival.

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The Purpose of Matter in the Universe*

 

written and performed by Joe Hutcheson

directed by DB Levin

 

* The geography of a nervous breakdown.

 

Traveling from his home in California to a new one in Florida, a man suffers a nervous breakdown and must sift through the tangled mysteries and memories of his past in order to get on with his future.

 

www.purposeofmatter.com

 

 

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From an epiphany on Charles Street in Boston to a Howard Johnson Hotel on Houston Street in NYC by way of Appalachia and Kansas City, follow the white girl in her search for God.

 

I come from the do it yourself generation, coming of age after World War II. If you needed something - a new dress, adding a room for a baby - you did it yourself because everybody else was too busy to help. That has stood me in good stead during my life. When problems beset me, I looked inside myself for answers. How to balance my own desires with my responsibilities to my family. Taking care of my mother during her decline and death, struggling with my husband about home and career, worrying about my son's growing up and finally discovering the solution lay in understanding that whatever I wanted to do, I had to do it myself. Looking back on it now, I take it all with a grain of salt. My struggles and travails amuse me, after all, I made it this far didn't I? So that's what TRANSIT is about: surviving the blizzard of my life. I hope you'll come and see me talk about it some evening.

Mary Jane Wells in

Directed by Ben Sander aka Brini Maxwell

 

Brett Singer - Public Relations

Barbara Okishoff - Audience Development

Roger Bailey - Stage Manager

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FIX IT- a comedy about love, self-help and the recovery from both

 

Can a childhood of self-help therapy prepare the modern woman for a very adult crisis? This riotous one-woman show chronicles unusual rites of passage, marital catastrophe and how she stretches the limits of optimism and therapy in her attempts to "fix it."  With humor and candor, 'Fix It' chronicles one woman's passage from self-help nut to adult woman navigating her life with grace and dignity. 'Fix It' premieres Friday, July 27 during the Midtown International Theater Festival.

 

 

Running through August 2nd, FIX IT will be performed at Stage Left Studio, located at

348 West 37th Street (between 9th & 10th Avenues) on the Fifth Floor.

 

TIMES/DATES: Friday, July 27th at 8:30pm; Saturday, July 28th at 6:00pm;

Sunday, July 29th at 2:00pm & 6:45pm. Wednesday, August 1st at 8:30pm;

Thursday, August 2nd at 6:30pm.

 

 

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FIX IT

Megan Griswold

Segment of Cat-her-in-e

by Amy Staats

 

Phone Number

Spotlight up: Amy, alone at her laptop. Typing. Small china

cat on desk. Box on desk with gift wrap.

 

AMY ADULT

 

Dear Catherine.

 

Pause.

 

Delete delete delete. Dear Cat-her-in-e, Thank you so much

for the china cat. I really like it. I am awful. I know Ms.

Manners says that I have up to one to send thank you notes

for my wedding gifts, but four years is inexcusable. I want

to tell you...

 

Pause.

 

Delete. Delete. Delete.

 

(Amy wraps up china cat in wrapping paper and puts it in box)

 

Black out

 

Lights up: empty stage: bluish pink lights

 

 

AMY AT 4

 

Visiting my cousin Catherine was on par in excitement with

discovering the Muppet Show. One evening during the spring of

confusion, my sister turned on the TV, and there it was.

 

(Sound effects: Swedish Chef & chickens)

 

I couldn’t believe a show existed that mastered so perfectly

the ideas struggling to form on the inside of my brain. At

the age of four, I didn’t yet know what I was looking for,

but I already knew what I liked.

(Driving in car)

 

Radio sounds: NPR Duke Ellington“ Nutcracker Jazz Suite”

 

AMY AT 4

 

Daddy...How much longer till we get

there?

 

Dad

 

Just about...three more hours.

 

AMY AT 4

 

Is this the state where the earth

changes colors?

 

2.

DAD

No. That’s West Virginia. We’re

going to North Carolina

AMY AT 4

Then...then..then...tell us a story

about...

DAD (ABRUPT)

Let’s just listen to NPR

And my sister and I pressed our noses against the passing

landscape and pretended that it all looked familiar.

But when my fathers van finally rumbles into driveway of a

the surprisingly unfamiliar low roofed seventies style house

my anticipation of delight turned inward into abject fear:

What were we thinking? We hadn't visited our cousins since

last summer...since... We don’t even know them.

Its Thursday morning, Christmas is on Sunday,and what lies

between is a chasm of social interaction unknown to us except

for fragmented memories a half a year back.

I am suddenly, overwhelmingly mind blowingly shy.

BELL

Ding dong

AUNT ANNE

“Hey ya’ll Oh my Goodness. Muffin,

if muffin would stop barking”

The door opens and there is Aunt Anne with her dark hair

fixed in a doubled up ponytail high in her head, like a

fastidious, dark haired, Brigitte Bardot from the south.

And muffin, the first little long haired dog I have ever seen

is scurrying around our legs and we are on the front door

landing now and the smell of the home hits us, comforting,

like lavender but not lavender, and our cousin Camden is

standing tall behind Aunt Anne.

CAMDEN

“Hey ya’ll”.

And Uncle George is off playing golf and Nana is at the door

now too , more my size with her white hair up in a high

bouffant and a big hug

3.

NANA

look at you girls, you got so big.

My goodness, It looks like you’re

wearin everything you own.

and then she and Aunt Ann made fun of my Dad

NANA

Mercy Ched you’re a wreck

AUNT ANN

girls, were putting you downstairs

in Camden's room.

We go down the stairs, still terribly shy and glance at the

rec room to our right with the door ajar and past the rec

room to Catherine's room whose door is closed.

For the first day, we held close to our father.

AUNT ANN

And how are you girls? How is your

mother?

SUSANNAH AT 5

Fine.

AUNT ANNE

“Your Grandmother?'

Susannah

“Fine”

Aunt ann

And Wisconsin My goodness, I hear

its real cold there.”

Susannah

Yes.

Amy (4)

We're having three Christmases..

One with Mom, one with Goggie and

Grandaddy, and one with you.”

Aunt Anne

Well, isn't that exciting.

My sister Susannah and I sit at the kitchen table eating our

sandwiches like china dolls while somewhere in the house our

cousin Catherine is looming. We know it.

4.

There comes a point to all great events when one must jump in

the water. It's a horrible thing, but it must be faced.

Susannah

Um...Aunt Anne....where’s

Catherine?

Aunt Ann

Well now I’m not sure. She’s

probably downstairs reading. I’m

sure she’d be happy if ya’ll went

down to say hello.

SUSANNAH AT 5

Do you think she would want to play

Barbies with us?

AUNT ANN

Well now, I don’t know. She might.

SUSANNAH AT 5

Let’s go downstairs

AMY AT 4

Okay

My heart is pounding in my chest.

SUSANNAH AT 5

“May we please be excused?

AUNT ANN

Why, yes you may. My goodness. What

nice manners

And we brought our plates carefully to the sink without

spilling.

 SUSANNAH

“Daddy, we’re gonna go see

Catherine.”

“That sounds like a good idea.” Said our father, and opened

his book

We walk downstairs. Past the rec room. Further down the hall.

And there we are.

The door was big and wooden.

SUSANNAH AT 5

“You knock.”

5.

AMY AT 4

“No you knock.”

SUSANNAH AT 5

“No you.”

I knocked.

AMY AT 4

“Catherine?”

CATHERINE

“Hey. Come on in.”

Catherine, 12 and big boned, lay on her bed reading a

magazine. Her dark blonde hair is long and thick and her

face, if not necessarily pretty, is already strong in the

tradition of our West Virginian ancestors.

CATHERINE

I was just gonna come up and see

ya’ll.

SUSANNAH AT 5

What are you reading?

CATHERINE

I’m just reading this article in

Seventeen

AMY AT 4

But you’re not seventeen.

CATHERINE

I guess it thinks its geared toward

seventeen year olds, but really, I

think they always miss judge

interest level by about five years.

I’m reading about this one actress

Phoebe Cates. I’m not sure how

smart she is, but she’s got real

 good skin. I wish I had good skin.

And a fierce longing set in, looking at Phoebe Cates, to tan

easily, to have good skin and a big toothy grin. Even at the

age of four, I could tell that we would never attain that. It

was impossible.

SUSANNAH AT 5

Do you wanna play Barbies?

(Pause)

6.

CATHERINE

Well, okay, I guess so.

Catherine put the magazine down face up, Phoebe still

grinning.

CATHERINE

Let’s play Barbie Olympics

(we nod emphatically)

We knew very little about the Olympics, but it didn’t matter.

Catherine had agreed to play

You couldn't take much time choosing your doll for Barbie

Olympics. Age was rank. Catherine got first choice, Susannah

got second, I got third.

CATHERINE

All right now, what are your dolls

professions?

AMY AT 4

Princess!

I said

CATHERINE

All right. Well now, my doll just

graduated from Harvard, she's a

doctor and a feminist. What about

your doll Susannah?

SUSANNAH AT 5

Veternarian

AMY AT 4

Oh well...

I said,

AMY AT 4

My dolls not a princess anymore,

she’s a farmer.

CATHERINE

No Amy, you already made her a

princess you can’t go back.

AMY AT 4

But...

7.

CATHERINE

No buts. Those are the rules. Now

if She's a princess, then why is

she in the Olympics?” “Princesses

have to stay in the castle and give

speeches from the balcony.

 AMY AT 4

But in between speeches they let

her go.

CATHERINE

Well all right, but she's better

not make any mistakes, otherwise

her whole country will be

embarrassed.

We went upstairs to the living room.

CATHERINE

All right the first event is our

dolls have to walk across the piano

with our hitting any notes

signifying grace and agility. My

dolls name is Susan. She’s

originally from Norway, and had

just come back from studying

abroad.

SUSANNAH

My Dolls name is Rose, she’s a

veternarian from Scotland.

Amy

“Mine is...Rose...mary. She’s a

princess from...Green Bay.”

SPORTS ANNOUNCER VOICE

Susan, the doctor from Norway,

walked effortlessly across the

piano, no notes touched, or

perhaps, maybe one, a black key,

minor point loss.

Rose, the veterenarian from

Scotland would also walk with

agility over the keys. Two keys

hit, a major, a minor, still good.

Rosemary from Wisconsin had a

harder time. Strange winds also

known as Catherine's hand came in

and

8.

AMY AT 4

“No, no,” I'd cry.

Catherine

Amy now, don't be spoiled sport.

Your doll stepped on a key thats

gonna cost her points

And I wouldn’t. Fairness suddenly didn’t matter. I wanted to

be in the game.

CATHERINE

All right for the next event. All

the dolls have to swing on the

pendulum of the Grandfather clock

three times without falling. I

think Mom keeps the key to the

clock right under here...

“one..oops. She fell.

Wait..wait....oops that’s gonna

cost her. Oh Well. She did her

best. Better luck in 84’.

SPORTS ANNOUNCER VOICE

The final event consisted of each

of our dolls singing two full

verses of Chuckie's In Love.

Neither Rose or Rosemary had any

knowledge of who Chuckie was, what

it felt like to be in love, or what

the song sounded like, so Susan,

the doctor from Norway, won by a

landslide.

The closing ceremonies were interrupted by Andy, age six,

ANDY

“What are ya'll doing?”

CATHERINE

We're playing Barbies.

ANDY

Oh. Its time for lunch.

We are different creatures then we were at breakfast. We sit

by Catherine, and would remain sitting there until the end of

the week.

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