Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2018-10-17
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

SUMMER THEATER SPECIAL 'The Days Are Shorter' on aging, from women's perspectives
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Kerry Reid
2018-05-15

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


The male midlife crisis has been examined in exhaustive detail in everything from John Updike's novels to plays such as Tracy Letts' Linda Vista at Steppenwolf last spring. But it's harder to find stories that center women's existential conflicts around aging, especially from a lesbian point of view. ( Claudia Allen's plays remain a prominent exception. )

In The Days Are Shorter, which opened May 10 with Pride Films and Plays, Evanston-based playwright Corinne J. Kawecki creates a quartet of characters who illuminate different aspects of the ages of women. In particular, the play focuses on Julia ( Pat Parks ), a 53-year-old who is seemingly adrift professionally and personally in the wake of a break-up with her longtime partner Pax ( Gay Glenn ). Julia has taken up with Treat ( Kendra Verhage ), a much younger woman who wants to be a professional magician, and also meets Ada ( Joan McGrath ), a woman in her 70s who isn't about to fade away.

Throughout the play, we hear a woman's voice commenting on Julia's actions and coaxing her to consider alternatives. Kawecki creates a world that is realist but slightly askew. "I envisioned it to be an alternate reality," Kawecki said in a phone interview, adding "Given the alternate reality, having Treat be a magician or magician wannabe was very appropriate." The card tricks Treat performs provide another perspective on manipulating reality. Julia also experiences intense insomnia, as do many people as they age. That condition makes us question even more whether what Julia is experiencing is "real" or the consequence of sleep deprivation.

Kawecki started working on the play in 2008, but it came to the attention of Pride Films and Plays when it was a finalist in the 2016 LezPlay competition. Artistic director Nelson Rodriguez gave the script to director Iris Sowlat, who felt drawn to Kawecki's characters immediately.

In a phone interview, Sowlat said of Julia, "The height of the most anxious time in her life comes with this complete deadness and lack of passion and lack of drive." But though all the characters are lesbian, both Sowlat and Kawecki noted that what happens to Julia happens to many people of all genders and identities. "There is nothing in the play that is unique to lesbians," said Kawecki, though she also noted that part of the inspiration for her plays is that "I always like to turn things to the positive and I think—I really just speak for myself—we need to write for older women. All of my other full-length plays are about women in their 40s, 50s, 60s. It's very important. We know a lot about men of that age group and we really don't know a lot about women."

Sowlat said "This play has four completely three-dimensional characters and three of them are over 50 and all of them are queer. That's like a unicorn."

One of the readers for The Days Are Shorter in the LezPlay competition, Laura K. Henderson, is the founder and executive producer of Michigan's Queer Theatre Kalamazoo. She produced it at her theater this past January, which gave Kawecki a chance to make some changes before the Chicago premiere with Pride Films and Plays. "I found the ending there," she said. ( Of course, that won't be revealed here. )

Throughout the play, Julia's interactions with Pax, Treat and Ada help fill in pieces of the puzzle. Sowlat said "The three other women are what she aspired to be or aspires to be at different ages. She finds herself drawn to pieces of them and comparing herself to them. She also can't stop wishing that she had the energy of a 25-year-old [which is Treat's age in the play]." Sowlat also noted "Julia has a history of defining herself by her partner. First Pax, and then Treat, who is like the shiny new Ferrari she went after in this midlife crisis."

At one point, Ada tells Julia "But the key is you must love that 53-year-old dreamer." Kawecki noted that finding the character of Ada was "divine inspiration" that helped her figure out the arc of the play.

As to what audiences will make of the alternate reality in The Days Are Shorter—well, Kawecki said "If people want to believe it's a dream, they will believe it's a dream. And I don't care. Everybody goes to the theater and everybody comes out with something different." The underlying message of Kawecki's play is the importance of embracing one's uniqueness at each stage of the journey, even ( or especially ) as time grows short.


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Tamale Sepp starts a new chapter 2018-10-17 - Internationally renowned comedian and interdisciplinary performer Tamale Sepp has relocated to the East Coast after serving up 16 years of comedy, performance art, ...


Gay News

Rock 'N' Roll 2018-10-17 - Playwright: Tom Stoppard At: The Artistic Home, 1376 W. Grand Ave., Tickets: 866-811-4111; TheArtisticHome.org; $34. Runs through: Nov. 18 This is a ...


Gay News

WaistWatchers The Musical 2018-10-17 - Playwright: Alan Jacobsen and Vince Dimura At: Royal George Theatre, 1641 N. Halsted St. Tickets: 312-988-9000 or TheRoyalGeorgeTheatre.com; $45-65. Runs through: Dec. 30 ...


Gay News

Flyin' West 2018-10-17 - Playwright: Pearl Cleage At: American Blues Theater, Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave. Tickets: 773-654-3103; AmericanBluesTheater.com; $19-$39. Runs through: Nov. 3 ...


Gay News


A Shire calling: Gay comedian moves from Chicagoland to LA 2018-10-17 - People often have to make big changes in their lives to order to find success. This is no different with Kyle Shire—a ...


Gay News

Eclipsed 2018-10-17 - Playwright: Danai Gurira At Chicago Dramatists, 1105 W. Chicago Ave. Tickets: $18-30; PegasusTheatreChicago.org. Runs through: Nov. 4 "How you gonna ...


Gay News

Crumbs From the Table of Joy 2018-10-17 - Playwright Lynn Nottage At Raven Theatre, 6157 N Clark St. Tickets: 773-338-2177 or RavenTheatre.com; $15-46. Runs through Nov. 18 Like ...


Gay News

Fun Harmless Warmachine 2018-10-17 - By Fin Coe At Den Theatre, 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave. Tickets: 773-697-3830 or TheNewColony.org; $10-20. Runs through: Nov. 4 The New ...


Gay News

Arts in the Dark Halloween Parade to light up State St. Oct. 20 2018-10-17 - Arts in the Dark, the magical nighttime Halloween procession, will march down State Street for the first time, Saturday, October 20 from 6 ...


Gay News

Too ghoul for school, theater for the Halloween weekend 2018-10-17 - The weeks surrounding Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanzaa, solstice and New Year's are often collectively dubbed the "holiday season" in our multicultural society, but you're ...


 



Copyright © 2018 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.