Estelle Parsons to Star in Palm Beach Dramaworks' MY OLD LADY this Winter
Estelle Parsons, a theatre legend whose illustrious stage career spans six decades, will play a 92-year-old French matron in Palm Beach Dramaworks' production of My Old Lady by Israel Horovitz, which runs from December 5, 2014 through January 4, 2015 at the Don & Ann Brown Theatre (201 Clematis).
"I am thrilled that the remarkable Estelle Parsons is joining us at Palm Beach Dramaworks to take on this rich, complex character," says Producing Artistic Director William Hayes, who will direct the play. "Estelle is a national treasure, whose fearlessness, ferocity, artistry, and blazing intelligence have made her one of the finest actors of this or any other generation. I look forward to working with her, and I am delighted that our audiences will have the opportunity to see her 'up close and personal' in our intimate theatre."
Says Horovitz, "It's no secret that Estelle Parsons is a great actress. It is, however, an extremely well-kept secret that some 40 years ago, Estelle played a 400-pound inmate of an obesity prison in a play of mine called The Reason We Eat. Estelle was padded and, most nights, so was the audience. In fact, Estelle was brilliant in my less-than-brilliant play. She was hilarious and heartbreaking - an unbeatable combination. I am thrilled that Estelle and I are back on the diving board together. And it's a double thrill because it's happening at Palm Beach Dramaworks with the ever-talented Bill Hayes at the helm."
Set in Paris, My Old Lady is a three-character play that takes place in the apartment of Parsons' character, Mathilde. In France, a property owned by an elderly person can be purchased for a price well below market value. The new owner must allow the occupant to remain in the home until his or her death, and pay that person an agreed upon fee as well. This real estate arrangement is known as a viager. In My Old Lady, a down-on-his-luck New Yorker named Mathias has inherited Mathilde's apartment from his father, unaware of the circumstances. He discovers the reality of his situation only after he arrives in Paris with the hope of selling the apartment. With no money and nowhere to go, Mathias winds up living with Mathilde and her rigid daughter, Chloé. Their lives soon intertwine in unexpected and profound ways. Casting for the roles of Mathias and Chloé will be announced in September, along with casting for the entire 2014 - 2015 season.
Estelle Parsons was last seen on Broadway earlier this year as Alexandra inThe Velocity of Autumn, for which she received her fifth Tony Award nomination. Although she has spent most of her professional life in the theatre, she is most widely known for her Academy Award-winning performance as Blanche Barrow in Bonnie and Clyde and her ten years playing Beverly, mother of the title character in the hit sitcom Roseanne. In the theatre, she made an indelible impression as the tyrannical eighth-grade teacher in Roberto Athayde's classic about totalitarian power, Miss Margarida's Way, which she performed on Broadway, all over the United States, and in London, Dublin, Turkey, and Australia. She has appeared in plays by the great writers of our time, including Edward Albee, Tennessee Williams, Dario Fo, Arthur Miller, Samuel Beckett, Paul Zindel, and Horton Foote. Estelle starred in Tracy Letts' August: Osage County for a year on Broadway, followed by another year on the road. Other recent credits include Good People by David Lindsay-Abaire, and the George and Ira Gershwin musical Nice Work If You Can Get It, with Matthew Broderick and Kelli O'Hara. In 2012, she was directed by Neil LaBute in Marco Calvani's Things of the World. As a director, she created the New York Shakespeare Festival Players for Joseph Papp in the 1980s. For two seasons, they performed Shakespeare on Broadway for New York City school students and their families in an effort to develop a multicultural audience. She also directed Al Pacino in Oscar Wilde's Salome: The Reading on Broadway. Estelle is a member of the Actors Studio and was inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame in 2004.
Palm Beach Dramaworks is a non-profit, professional theatre and is a member of the Theatre Communications Group, the South Florida Theatre League, Southeastern Theatre Conference, Florida Professional Theatres Association, Florida Theatre Conference, and the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County.
Subscriptions for the 2014 - 2015 season are on sale now. Single tickets will be available beginning September 15.