Hyde Park Community Players to produce first play in private Hyde Park home

Laura MacGregor as Ruth Steiner (left) and Renata McAdams as Lisa Morrison in Hyde Park Community Players rehearsal for the production of David Marguelis’ “Collected Stories” in private Hyde Park home. – Photo courtesy of Hyde Park Community Players

By GABRIELLA CRUZ-MARTÍNEZ
Herald Intern

The Hyde Park Community Players are gearing up to perform a unique rendition of David Margulies’ “Collected Stories” in their first-ever production to be staged in a private residence in the Hyde Park neighborhood on March 2.

The play follows the narrative of acclaimed short story writer Ruth Steiner, interpreted by Laura MacGregor, who invites a promising student and aspiring writer named Lisa Morrison, played by Renata McAdams, to her Manhattan apartment to discuss her work.

Lisa becomes Ruth’s protégé and personal assistant; and as Lisa’s star rises and grows out of her insecurity, Ruth ages and begins to wonder what that means for her own future.

“The intimacy of the venue will make it feel like there is almost no fourth wall,” said Paul Baker, the director of the play and founder of the Hyde Park Community Players. “The atmosphere becomes electric and charged by the emotions of the characters. It’s impossible not to feel captured by it.”

The two-woman play demonstrates the rhythm of day-to-day issues and spans years, presenting how both writers grow closer, feel admiration towards one another, affection, awkwardness, competition, and even betrayal.

“The play echoes life,” added MacGregor. “It’s about art, teaching, learning, and motherhood. It asks a very personal question of where one ranks art versus personal life.”

McAdams said that although the play is set in the mid ‘90s, it’s narrative is surprisingly relevant to current topics in culture, “the dialogue is vivid, realistic, and exciting.”

The riveting play, and Pulitzer Prize finalist in 1997, is scheduled to run the first two weekends of March.

The dates of the production are March 2-4 and 9-11; Fridays and Saturdays at 7 p.m., and Sundays, at 3 p.m. For more information, please visit: http://hydeparkcommunityplayers.org/ .

The experimental venue of the play will allow for a privileged almost vaporized fourth wall between the audience and the actors, “the feeling is cozy at times electric,” Baker said.

Because the venue is a private home tickets are limited to about 20 attendees a night. Once tickets are purchased, the organization will send an email with details of the location of the play.

On Sunday, March 4, there will be a special opportunity to stay a while and talk back with the cast and a few Hyde Park authors after the show on topics like issues of writing and the play itself.

Tickets are $12 for students and seniors, and $15 for the general public, tickets are available at https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3340923.

hpherald@hpherald.com