What causes a pampered young woman to give it all up, and take the difficult path which will lead to sainthood? The answers will surprise and charm you, as Stage West presents Poor Clare, a delightfully modern take on a true story, which begins a 3-week run on Thursday, November 30.
Clare is a typical young noblewoman of her time. Having grown up the older daughter of a wealthy household, her concerns are those of a normal teen—the latest hairstyles and fashions, and her upcoming marriage to a wealthy man. But then she encounters Francis, the son of a silk merchant, who has recently chosen a life of poverty. His choices puzzle her, but after she talks to him for a bit, her eyes are opened to the truth that exists around her. And to the surprise and dismay of her family, she chooses to follow in his footsteps.
The story, which takes place in the early 13th century, is familiar. But playwright Atik has chosen to update the language to the modern vernacular. Clare and her younger sister Beatrice could be any influencers from today, and this serves to make her conversion both striking and relatable.
The play is perfect for the coming holiday season, as its message of caring for the plight of others couldn’t be more timely.
Associate Producer Garret Storms says, “Poor Clare is an incredible new script that we all fell in love with immediately. It’s set in medieval Italy, but the characters speak in a contemporary voice. This script feels both familiar and surprising – both funny and stirring. It’s the very timely and human tale of the making of a saint – Clare of Assisi. We could all use a story like this right now!.”
“A powerful and very funny modern spin on the medieval story of Saint Clare of Assisi.”– The Hollywood Times
Chiara Atik is a playwright and screenwriter, whose play Poor Clare was the recipient of the 2022 American Theatre Critics Association’s New Play Award, the LA Drama Critics Circle winner for Best New Play, and a Susan Smith Blackburn Award finalist. Other plays include Five Times in One Night, Bump, and the comedy Women, a modern re-telling of Little Women, which won the Hollywood Fringe Festival. Screenplays include Fairy Godmother (Blacklist), and she is currently adapting Maggie O’Farrell’s best-seller, Hamnet, for Amblin. She is a member of the Ensemble Studio Theater.
Poor Clare will be directed by Emily Scott Banks, who last directed JQA at Stage West. The cast, most of whom are new to Stage West, features Kayland Jordan as Clare, with Lisa Lloyd as her mother Ortolana, and Bethany Mejorado as her sister Beatrice. Servants Alma and Peppa will be played by Tallulah Rogers and Laurel L. Collins (last at Stage West in Into the Breeches!). Francis will be played by Danny Lovell, and Francisco Grifaldo (seen in The Play That Goes Wrong) will appear as The Poor and others.
Set design is by Brian Clinnin, with lighting design by Roma Flowers, costume design by Aaron Patrick DeClerk, wig and hair design by Nick Lynch-Voris, sound design and mixing by Ryan Swift Joyner, and props and set décor by Lynn Lovett. Stage Manager duties will be handled by Sydney Dormire.
Poor Clare will preview Thursday, November 30 at 7:30, and Friday, December 1 at 8:00, and will run through Sunday, December 17. The opening night reception will be after the evening performance on Saturday, December 2. Performances will be Thursdays at 7:30, Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00, with Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2:00. Ticket prices for this show are $43 on Thursdays and Fridays, and $47 on Saturdays and Sundays, with $39 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.
This show is rated PG-13 for some language.