“Collected Stories” is a beautifully written play.
An intimate and truthful account of a relationship between two women, one teacher, one student, and the brutality of artistic betrayal.
Ruth is a celebrated writer of short stories and a graduate teacher, Lisa is her student, who becomes her assistant and then her closest friend. Ruth guides and advises Lisa. She supports her, encourages her and over the six years this remarkable play covers, she opens up to her as she has never done before. She shares stories of her life and Lisa, after a well received collection of short stories of her own is published, takes one of Ruth's most precise memories and turns it into her first nove. Ruth, now older and quite ill, simply can’t forgive her.
This play has been extremely successful when produced just about everywhere, including on and off Broadway and was a Pulitzer Prize finalist…and I can totally understand why. Various incarnations have included such brilliance as Debra Messing, Samantha Mathis, Helen Mirren and Sarah Paulson.
This rather wonderful production has the quite fantastic Susan Fisher in the title role of Ruth with Gretchen Goode portraying Lisa…phenomenally.
So, we have a truly excellent and well-loved play performed by two accomplished actors perfectly cast. It has to be good right?
Well of course it is. More than good in fact, it's superb. From the minute the lights go up on the meticulously constructed staging of Ruth’s apartment, where the play is set, to the gut-wrenching final line, I was entranced. As we drop in on them over the years we see the tables turn, slowly but surely from the mentor to the pupil… it’s quite eerily done, with no hint of contrivance or even evidence of real intent. It’s all in the words and how the words are truthfully spoken. Bravo ladies…
Including in the congratulations is the director Christine Dunford who seems to have graced these talented actors with the space to find themselves in these roles - fortunately for us!
I highly recommend “Collected Stories” at The Dorie Theater at the Complex, 6476 Santa Monica Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90038.
Don’t dawdle…it’s a short but precise run!!
October 13 through November 5
Ruth Steiner - Susan Fisher*
Lisa Morrison - Gretchen Goode
Stage Manager - Darren Portilla
Assistant Stage Manager - Shai Terece
Production Designer - Alessandra Manias
Lighting Design - David Carreno
Sound Design - David Medina
Wardrobe - Maggie Lima
Publicity - Nora Feldman
Produced by ShoWorks & Susan Fisher