Written by Doug Haverty. Directed by Bruce Kimmel.
Opening the Group Rep’s 46th Season is “In My Mind’s Eye,” written by Doug Haverty with direction by Bruce Kimmel.
Precocious Patty has been legally blind since birth and wants more freedom from her protective mother’s care. Pleading with her mother to go to a “normal” middle school, her mother fears that placing a child with special needs in a regular school setting would be too difficult for Patty. But Patty is emphatic – she doesn’t want to live in a handicapped world.
Young Patty (Peyton Kirkner) meets Calhoon (Lloyd Pedersen), an elderly man who has fallen on the sidewalk outside Patty’s home. They become fast friends, with Calhoon developing a true affection for Patty. Patty’s overly protective mother, Mrs. Lola Henderson (Maria Kress), is leery of this friendship, not just because of the vast age difference, but Patty seems to be more interested in spending time with Calhoon rather than her. After all, Patty is her whole life and all she has.
Lola takes Patty to see Miss Hester (Clara Rodriguez) the Dean of Women of the junior high that Patty wants to attend hoping that Miss Hester will discourage Patty’s requests. Spanning 13 years, the play switches back and forth between young Patty and adult Patty, and the conflicts Patty faces become apparent. Adult Patty (Kait Haire) has become a geography teacher accomplishing her need to live a “normal” life. She still lives with her mother who still does everything for Patty. But when Patty meets fellow teacher Hugo (Bobby Slaski), and a romance develops, Lola becomes more and more anxious that the Mother/Daughter relationship is about to change.
Doug Haverty’s script is full of feeling and compassion, and with excellent direction by Bruce Kimmel, each of these actors reaches into their characters giving us the courage, spirit, fortitude, and finally resolution to the difficulties life throws us. Winning several Drama-Logue awards, “In My Mind’s Eye” was originally developed in Lonny Chapman’s Playwrights Unit, and was the first full-length play presented in the theater of the same name. My first thought was that this play is truly a gentle story, but I think the perfect word is tender. It is a tender yet strong and wonderfully written story, and one I became totally engrossed in. Great set design by Pawena Sriha, new to the Group Rep.
The actors are wonderful, the script is wonderful, and the direction is wonderful. I recommend “In My Mind’s Eye.” I’m still thinking about it. It is memorable. I hope you enjoy this first offering of the 46th Season at the Group Rep at the Lonny Chapman Theatre. I know I did.
Cast: Kait Haire, Peyton Kirkner, Maria Kress, Lloyd Pedersen, Torrey Richardson, Clara Rodriguez and Bobby Slaski;
Additional Voices: Clayton Conroy, Allie Elliott, Danielle Houch, Heidi Mendez, Jocelyn Riddle, Rena Strober
Producer and Assistant Director: Bita Arefnia
Set Design: Pawena Sriha
Lighting Design: Douglas Gabrielle
Costume Design: Michael Mullen
Sound Design: Steve Shaw
Stage Manager: Jody Bardin
Properties: Leslie Young
Incidental Music by: Bruce Kimmel
On-Line Marketing: Kristin Stancato
Promotional Video/Photographer: Doug Engalla
Public Relations: Nora Feldman
Graphic Design: Art & Soul Design
The Lonny Chapman Theatre
10900 Burbank Blvd
North Hollywood, CA 91601
Tickets: www.theGROUPrep.com General Admission: $30.00 Seniors/Students w/ID: $25.00 Parties 10+: $20.00
Reservations & Information: 818-763-5990
February 7 – March 15, 2020
Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 pm
Sunday Matinees at 2:00 pm
Talkbacks with cast and staff: 2/16 and 3/1
Website – www.theGROUPrep.com
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