CoHo Productions Presents MAPLE & VINE, Now thru 5/24
CoHo Productions presents the third and final play of their 2013/14 Season: Maple and Vine by Jordan Harrison, co-produced and directed by Megan Kate Ward. Maple and Vine will open tonight, May 2, 2014 and run through May 24, 2014.
Katha and Ryu have become allergic to their 21st-century lives. After they meet a charismatic man from a community of 1950s reenactors, they forsake cellphones and sushi for cigarettes and Tupperware parties. In this compulsively authentic world, the couple is surprised by what their neighbors--and they themselves- are willing to sacrifice for happiness.
Members of the Society of Dynamic Obsolescence (SDO) agree to live every moment of their lives as if it is 1955, and not just the Stepford Wives version- there are dossiers for suburban housewives, secret Communists, beatniks and business men. The characters in Maple and Vine willingly surrender their modern social privileges and conveniences for a lifestyle with more rules, restrictions and repression. The paradoxical promise of the SDO is that "You are not free. But in another way, you're more free."
Maple and Vine was commissioned by Actors Theatre of Louisville and Berkeley Theatre. Originally developed by The Civilians, and written with support from the Guggenheim and Hodder Fellowships. It also received developmental support from Playwrights Horizons, the Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School New Works Festival, and the Kesselring Fellowship through the Orchard Project and the National Arts Club.
Director Megan Kate Ward hopes to "continue Portland's romance with Jordan Harrison's work." His Drammy award-winning plays Act a Lady and Futura premiered at Portland Center Stage, and Kid Simple at CoHo Productions. Maple and Vine is his most recent play, and the second in the dystopian trilogy which began with Futura. Director Ward says, "This play looks at how disconnected the world has become in the 21st century and wonders if it would be easier to return to a simpler time. Would relationships be healthier? Would you know your neighbors? Would eating a home cooked meal every night solve your problems?...I think everyone has had this thought at one time or another: 'What would it be like to go back in time?" to a life before all this technology that is supposed to make life simpler, back to a life where you could disconnect from virtual life and connect with the community actually around you."