Poverty is a deep freeze and so is the feeling of helplessness when part of your life, given up as irrevocably lost, comes back. Finding Claire, a new play by Kim Merrill, is an atmospheric, compelling work that pictures this phenomenon and its cure. It is a tale of the thawing of an impoverished upstate NY family when an angry, introverted artist, trapped by her past and desperate for change, is found by the daughter she gave up for adoption years ago. Theater for the New City will present the work as an Equity Off-off Broadway production from February 3 to 20 in its Communty Theater, directed by Susan Einhorn.
In the play, a wealthy, well-meaning New York City dancer seeks out and writes to her birth mother's home. She hopes for a family connection, but instead finds a family in crisis. Their home is a rundown farmhouse in rural upstate New York. Her teenage half-sister is pregnant, and determined to give up her baby. Her mother, an amateur sculptor who cracks rocks to express the frustration of her life, is determined to keep it. Her controlling, housebound grandmother is stuck in the middle. Hoping to help her new family, the dancer arrives at their door. What she discovers is not what she expects: a family that needs but resents her, and a mother who has been waiting for her, guided by her belief that, "When you get lost, it's best to stay where you are. Stay put. Same place. Let someone come find you."
The accomplished cast features Deirdre Madigan as the tough, emotionally-guarded artist, Tony-winner Helen Gallagher as her invalid mother, Shana Dowdeswell as her pregnant, 15 year-old daughter and Geneva Carr as the daughter she gave up for adoption. Original music is composed for the play by Adrienne Albert.
Appropriate for ages: 13 & up