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Franklin Stage Company Presents A WALK IN THE WOODS by Lee Blessing

A Walk in the Woods, Lee Blessing's Tony-nominated drama, will be presented by Franklin Stage Company, July 12th-29th, in their historic home Chapel Hall.

The play is based on an actual event that occurred in Geneva in 1982: Nuclear weapons non-proliferation treaty negotiator, American Paul H. Nitze, and his Soviet counterpart Yuli A. Kvitsinsky left the table in frustration over their failures at the official summit for an unofficial ''walk in the woods.'' In the less pressurized natural setting, they reportedly returned with an agreement, but their respective governments eventually had the last word.

A political chess match, full of tension and surprising humor, FSC Co-Artistic Directors Patricia Buckley and Leslie Noble chose the play "because we wanted a meaty work of ideas that would invite contemplation and conversation." Though it was written about an event that occurred over 30 years ago, the two were struck by the plays relevance. "Just as intriguing as the geopolitics," added Noble, "is a portrait of two people with fundamentally opposing views, who choose to see each other as human beings."

Directed by long-time FSC associate, Kirk Jackson, the play is about two nuclear arms negotiators-a Soviet and an American-who leave the negotiating table to take a walk in the woods together. It features Robert Zukerman, seen last season in The Price, as the Russian, and FSC Co-Artistic Director Leslie Noble, as the American.

Originally written for 2 men, Mr. Blessing adapted his text so a woman could play the American for a version first presented by Northern Stage in Vermont. "With more and more women entering politics," said Buckley, "we decided to cast a woman to reflect that trend."

Director Kirk Jackson notes, "Blessing wrote the play based on the original one-time only 'walk in the woods' outside Geneva. To get inside the negotiating process, he extended the event to span the seasons, effectively turning it into a metaphor for questioning the value of human connection. What is the best way to bridge fundamental differences? Is friendship the goal or a step along the way? Is that step necessary?"

Showtimes are Thursday-Saturday at 7:30pm, Saturday at 3:00 pm (new this season!) and Sunday at 5:00pm. Admission is free. Donations are gratefully accepted. Seating is limited and reservations are strongly recommended. To reserve and for more information, visit franklinstagecompany.org or 607-829-3700.

Franklin Stage Company Presents A WALK IN THE WOODS by Lee Blessing



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