Simon Stephens' powerful family drama, focuses on three generations of one family in Stockport, England, as it examines the persistent dreams and struggles facing each generation. The play deftly explores both the joys and fears that come from every day life, and the daunting task of making a mark in society. The production directed by ensemble member Jonathan Berry, will be the first opportunity for American audiences to view one of England's hottest playwrights. Stephens' most recent work, Harper Regan is currently receiving rave reviews in its current production at London's Royal National Theatre.
On the Shore of the Wide World takes its title from the poem "When I Have Fears That I May Cease To Be" by John Keats. While the play couches itself in the fear of risk and potential for failure, even in the darkest of moments Stephens maintains the enduring presence of real hope. The play explores the legacy of a family - what is passed down from each generation and the hope and possibility that each generation possesses to improve on the legacy left by the last. Stephens captures the rich layers of familial relationship that permeate the writings of such theatrical greats as Eugene O'Neill and Edward Bond while at the same time infusing the work with his own unique voice and a post 9/11 sensibility that creates both a strong sense of timelessness and a remarkable currency.