Welcome to middle age... proceed with caution! Diane Cary, Jane Kaczmarek and Sharon Sharth star as three successful women who challenge themselves to find love and personal fulfillment in the middle years of life. Steven Robman directs the ensemble cast, which also includes Gregory Harrison, James Lancaster and Joel Polis, in the world premiere of The Snake Can by Kathryn Graf (Hermetically Sealed). Performances run January 19 through February 24, presented by Indie Chi Productions at the Odyssey Theatre in West Los Angeles.
Growing older doesn't always mean growing wiser. Harriet (Kaczmarek) is a widow and single mother; Nina (Cary) has left her actor husband to escape the shadow of his celebrity; and twice-divorced Meg (Sharth) has been navigating the single world for ten years. These women, and the men in their lives, take a journey of self-discovery, stopping along the way to examine the gray areas of marriage and divorce, want and need, sexual ambiguity and dating in the age of online matchmaking.
"This play comes very much out of my own personal experience," explains Graf. "I'm a widow who raised two kids, my husband was a successful film and television actor, and I know what it means to be single for a long time. I've often felt the way these characters do—at once free and eager, wild and surprised, unhinged and terrified."
"I was won over by the wit and insight in Kathy's writing," says Robman, a veteran stage and television director who is new to L.A.'s 99-seat theater scene. "I directed the premieres of Wendy Wasserstein's first two plays [Uncommon Women and Others and Isn't It Romantic], and now, with The Snake Can, I feel like I'm coming full circle. The landscape is very different for those of us in middle age than it was for the women in Wendy's plays. The divorce rate is higher, people are living longer, we switch jobs and locales more easily—and then there's the Internet."
Set design for The Snake Can is by Jeffery Eisenmann; lighting design is by Adam Blumenthal; projection design is by Hana S. Kim; sound design is by Cricket S. Myers; costume design is by Miguel Montalvo; props are by Lorely Trinidad; casting is by Helen Geier; production stage manager is Liana Dillaway; and Diane Levine produces for Indie Chi Productions.
Kathryn Graf's first full-length play, Hermetically Sealed, garnered extensive critical praise and award nominations in its recent four-month run at The Skylight Theatre. She began writing when she penned and performed Surviving David, a one-woman play chronicling her first year as a young widow (2100 Square Feet in L.A.; Outstanding Solo Show, NYC Fringe Festival). Her other plays include the one-acts Poor Pretty Birds (Philipstown Depot Theatre, NY) and The Stiff (finalist, 2010 Tennessee Williams One-Act Competition). She is also the author of the award-winning children's book Always My Dad (Mom's Choice Award, gold medal). As an actress, Kathy has guest-starred in dozens of television shows including ER, Courthouse, Presidio Med and in a recurring role on the soap, Passions.
Steven Robman has directed at Manhattan Theatre Club, Playwrights Horizons, Chelsea Theatre Center, Phoenix Theatre and Jewish Repertory Theatre, as well as at the Guthrie, Arena Stage, Long Wharf, Actors Theatre of Louisville and Yale Rep. In Fall 2013, he will direct Brian Dennehy in The Steward of Christendom by Sebastian Barry at the Mark Taper Forum, where he previously staged Babbitt; Says I, Says He; Hoagy, Bix and W.B. Bunkhaus; and Made In America. Other theater work includes the world premieres of Moonlight and Magnolias and High Holidays at the Goodman, as well as Rat in the Skull at Wisdom Bridge Theatre and the revival of Lunching for the Apollo Group. Mr. Robman has directed premieres of plays by Wendy Wasserstein, Ron Hutchinson, D.L.Coburn, Fay Weldon, Alan Knee and James Yoshimura. For television, Mr. Robman has directed numerous episodes of dramatic and comedy series, movies-of-the-week, and the ABC miniseries The Audrey Hepburn Story. For three seasons he was co-executive producer of Party of Five for Fox Television.