“Lorna has been incredible and a mentor for my daughter,” said Stempel. “Watching the chemistry is delightful.”
Part of the tension is developed through the content of the characters’ conversations: Early in the play, Jessie confesses that she’s preparing to commit suicide. The 90-minute play is a passionate, intimate conversation between mother and daughter, performed without an intermission so that the sense of impending personal destruction never lets up.
“You don’t know until the end what is going to happen,” said Stempel. “The daughter is desperately trying to take care of her mom. The play is rich with beautiful language. Parts are even funny, but mostly it’s as if you’ve been brought into this living room. It’s beautifully written and their acting is beautiful.”
Stempel kept the tone of the work in mind as she worked to find moments of levity in an otherwise dark script. “Because Jessie. the character. makes her announcement in the first pages of the play, we have moments of lightness, because it’s not clear what will happen yet. I did not want to have it feel depressing from the start. This allows the audience to be engaged and not feel like this is a depressing 90 minutes. I had to find all opportunities to have that lightness,” she said.
Performances start Fri., Nov. 9 and run through Sun., Nov. 18. Shows are Friday and Saturday at 8pm and Sunday at 3pm. Tickets are $22, with discounts for students and seniors. For tickets call the Center box office at 845-876-3080 or go to www.centerforperformingarts.org.