Nancy and Bill…50 years together and counting. Only problem? Nancy wants out!
Stage West presents the regional premiere of the funny, surprising, and sometimes painfully honest Tony-nominee “Grand Horizons,” by Bess Wohl, which begins a 5-week run on Thursday, August 31.
Nancy and Bill are like most couples their age — they can finish each other’s sentences, and tolerate each other’s flaws. Now settled into a retirement community, they seem to be happily headed into their golden years. Until Nancy abruptly announces that she wants a divorce.
Bill seems to be OK with Nancy’s decision. But it’s a severe shock to their grown children, who descend on the parents for a sort of intervention, though apparently too late. Nancy is longing for more connection and excitement, while it turns out that Bill, who is taking a stand-up comedy course, has someone on the side. Is their long relationship finished? It seems like it, but then something unexpected occurs which may send things in an entirely new direction.’
Associate Producer Garret Storms says of the show, “The Tony-nominated ‘Grand Horizons’ is the fitting finale of our 43rd season. Beginnings are hard and endings are even harder – this sweet and hilarious play is a prime example of why.”
“A clever truth bomb of a play.” – New York Times
Bess Wohl’s plays have been produced or developed at theaters around the country, including the Williamstown Theatre Festival, People’s Light and Theatre Company, Center Theatre Group, the Contemporary American Theater Festival, the Pioneer Theatre, the Pittsburgh Public Theater, the Northlight Theater, TheaterWorks New Works Festival, Geffen Playhouse, the Vineyard Arts Project, Ojai Playwright’s Conference, the Cape Cod Theatre Project and the New York International Fringe Festival. Her play American Hero had its world premiere at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, directed by Leigh Silverman. She also worked on Pretty Filthy, an original musical about the adult entertainment industry, in collaboration with the composer/lyricist Michael Friedman and the Civilians. Her other plays include Cats Talk Back, In, Barcelona, and Touched. Her work has been supported by the MacDowell Fellowship, PlayPenn, and the Sewanee Writer’s Conference. She is a member of the Ars Nova Play Group, and has been the recipient of new play commissions from Manhattan Theatre Club and Center Theatre Group. She also writes for film and television. She completed an adaptation of the bestselling novel “The Luxe” for Paramount Pictures and has developed original television pilots for Fox, HBO, and USA. Bess is a graduate of Harvard, magna cum laude, where she studied with Seamus Heaney and Jamaica Kincaid, and was awarded the Rona Jaffe Writing Prize and the Tennessee Williams Scholarship. She earned her MFA from the Yale School of Drama, where she was a recipient of the Rebecca West Scholarship. She is originally from Brooklyn, New York, and divides her time between New York and Los Angeles.
“Grand Horizons “will be directed by Stage West Executive Producer Dana Schultes. Appearing as Bill will be local favorite David Coffee, who recently reprised the role he originated at the Dallas Theater Center in Theatre Arlington’s Fly by Night, with Elly Lindsay, recently seen in He’s Born, He’s Borne at Undermain Theatre, as Nancy. Son Ben will be played by John-Michael Marrs, last seen as Pilate in Jesus Christ Superstar for WaterTower Theatre, while Sky Williams, who appeared at Stage West last season in What to Send Up When It Goes Down and Into the Breeches!, will play his wife, Jess. Cindee Mayfield, last at Stage West in Life Sucks, will appear as Carla. Phillip Matthew Maxwell will make his Stage West debut as younger son Brian, with Jovane Caamaño, last at Stage West in Scrooge in Rouge as his date Tommy.
Set design is by Kevin Brown, with lighting design by Bryan Stevenson, costume design by Ryan Matthieu Smith, sound design by Patrick Emile, projection design by Ryan Swift Joyner, Intimacy Coordination by Kelsey Milbourn, and props and set décor by Lynn Lovett. Stage Manager duties will be handled by Sydney Dormire, while James Z. Appleyard serves as Assistant Director.
“Grand Horizons” will preview Thursday, August 31 at 7:30, and Friday, September 1 at 8:00, and will run through Sunday, October 1. The opening night reception will be after the evening performance on Saturday, September 2. Performances will be Thursdays at 7:30, Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00, and Sundays at 3:00. Post-show conversations will be Friday, September 15 and Thursday, September 21. Ticket prices are $40 on Thursdays and Fridays, and $45 on Saturdays and Sundays, with $20 tickets for the two preview performances. Food service is available 90 minutes prior to performances (reservations are advised). Reservations and information are available through the Box Office (817-784-9378), or on the website, www.stagewest.org.