Barbara J. Anderson
by Lisa Rosenthal
March 23 through May 2, 2010
"Stillbirth" mixed media by Maia Stefana Oprea
"Lisa Rosenthal's new play chronicles the life and legacy of Joan, a woman plagued by the memory of a lost child. Set on the day of Joan's funeral, the affecting, thought-provoking script uses flashbacks and dream sequences to outline her descent into infertility hell. Each miscarriage further alienates Joan from her husband, Davis, and fuels her procreative obsession. When desperation finally leads her to then-newly developed in vitro fertilization, she makes difficult and ethically questionable choices. In this Polarity Ensemble Theatre production, John Walski plays Davis with a subtle mix of anger and vulnerability."
–Marissa Oberlander, Chicago Reader
"Lisa has crafted a clever story that piqued my curiosity all the way through. The script poses questions that keep us looking for answers, a surefire way of building drama. Among them: How are the characters related to one another? Who is Marta? Will Joan and Davis have children? Why did Davis “abandon” the family? But the play doesn’t resolve its biggest mystery, Joan’s obsession with the long-dead Marta. Nor should it. What lies at the heart of Joan’s character remains unknown. Clearly, her unhappiness isn’t brought about by a lack of children; she ends up with three of them, all healthy and successful. It’s something else, and the audience as much in the dark as the characters who survive her. This is a smart play that takes us to the edge of an abyss to gaze into the darkness below, pondering the strange passions that at times afflict the human spirit. I highly recommend Lisa Rosenthal’s play."
–Will Cooper, Playwright, author of Jade Heart and Book of Leaves
"I saw The Good Harvest last night and loved it! A fine evening of drama. I found myself emotionally wrapped up in the lives of the characters from the opening scene right through to the final resolution of this very human story."
–Keith Anwar, Playwright, author of Kabulitis
"WOW – I saw this play today, March 28, and it is fabulous. So much to think about in the clever storyline, with an excellent cast. We don't often expect much in small theater productions but this is really terrific – the location, setting and professionalism. Beyond the script and acting, there were other first-class elements you don't often experience: the sounds, lighting and imaginative set design with very subtle elements. The Good Harvest is a memorable experience all the way around. Four stars and two thumbs!"
–Helen Gallagher, author of RELEASE YOUR WRITING: BOOK PUBLISHING YOUR WAY
Performances took place at the Polarity Ensemble Theatre in Wicker Park at the Josephinum Academy, 1500 N Bell, Chicago, March 23 through May 2, 2010. Showtimes were Friday and Saturday at 8pm, and Sunday at 3pm. $19 general admission. $15 seniors over 65. $10 students with ID.
Where to eat and drink before or after the show.
Richard Engling, Director
Lisa Rosenthal, Playwright-in-Residence
Jesse Gaffney, Production Manager
Nicole Smith, Stage Manager
Emily Cooke, Assistant Director
Ashley Ann Woods, Set Designer
Stephanette Smith, Lighting Designer
Gosia Goralczyk, Costume Designer
Mollie Slattery, Props Designer
Heath Hays, Sound Designer
Matt Olson, Technical Director
Steven J. Besic, Marketing/PR
Darren Callahan, Public Relations
Cathleen Ann, Graphics
Ann Keen, Managing Director
Richard Engling, Artistic Director