GRISWOLD Comes to the Bridge Street Theatre Next Month

Performances run August 8-18, 2024. 

By: Jul. 10, 2024
GRISWOLD Comes to the Bridge Street Theatre Next Month
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A historic Supreme Court case is getting the theatrical treatment in “Griswold”, coming to the Bridge Street Theatre next month.

It’s 1960. America is on the eve of a sexual revolution, and an improbable but unstoppable 60-year-old woman, Estelle Griswold, decides to challenge the late 19th century Connecticut law that criminalized contraception. Angela J. Davis’ timely new play, GRISWOLD, is a moving, humorous, and thrillingly theatrical look at Estelle Griswold’s initially frustrated but ultimately successful legal challenge that did nothing less than change the course of modern American history. GRISWOLD comes to Catskill’s Bridge Street Theatre in its first full-production for a two-weekend run, August 8-18, 2024. 

As the Executive Director of Planned Parenthood New Haven, Estelle Griswold had to contend with an antiquated law, an unmovable state legislature, and a board of directors afraid to rock the boat, all while dealing with her husband’s deteriorating health. Her first two legal challenges met with failure.  She got back up every time. The third challenge (following her own arrest!) hangs in the balance as ghosts from the past fight it out over legal principles and popular superstition. The Supreme Court’s decision, establishing a right of privacy in intimate, personal relationships, became foundational in many subsequent decisions, up to and including the decision legalizing same-sex marriage.  
 
Estelle is a self-taught, forward-thinking woman starting a new job at the age of 60. She makes a mean martini and is unafraid of ruffling feathers. Margo Whitcomb plays her with compassion and a wicked sense of irony, while Leyla Modirzadeh and Andre G. Brown take on the 20-plus characters that Estelle contends with (and is inspired by) along the way. These include P. T. Barnum, birth control pioneers Katharine McCormick and Dr. Hilda Standish, Planned Parenthood staffers and Board members, lawyers, judges, protestors, police officers, as well as two contemporaries who together embody the extraordinary reach of Estelle’s legacy. The play personalizes and dissects a debate of great historical (and present-day) consequence with humor and humanity, transforming Estelle’s personal and legal battle into a provocative, highly theatrical, time-traveling saga for three accomplished actors. 

GRISWOLD is the winner of the 2022 ‘A is for’ Playwriting Prize (affiliated with Broadway Acts for Women and Broadway Cares), and the Playhouse Creatures 2022 Rodriguez Award. The play has previously received readings at Middlebury Acting Company’s American Dreaming New Works Festival (with Ms. Whitcomb as Estelle Griswold), at NYC’s Cooper Union (co-produced by Playhouse Creatures and A is For with five-time Academy Award nominee Annette Benning as Estelle), and at the Playground Theatre in London (with Emmy Award winner and two-time Tony nominee Martha Plimpton in the title role).

Featured in the Bridge Street Theatre ensemble are Margo Whitcomb as Estelle Griswold, Leyla Modirzadeh as Actor 1, and Andre G. Brown as Actor 2. M. Burke Walker directs, with set and lighting design by John Sowle, costumes by Michelle Rogers, and artwork created by Sean Plew. Production Stage Manager is Hannarose Manning. 

GRISWOLD will be performed eight times only, August 8-18, with performances Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30 PM and Sundays at 2:00 PM. Discounted advance tickets can be purchased online for $28 at bridgest.org/griswold/. General admission at the door is $30. For patrons ages 18 and under, all tickets are only $15. Additionally, any unsold seats for the preview performance on Thursday, August 8, and at the Sunday matinee on August 11 will be available at the door on a “Pay What You Will” basis. Just show up before curtain time and pay whatever you feel you can afford for any available seat. Doors always open at least one-half hour before curtain time, with concessions and live music available in the lobby prior to the opening of the auditorium for seating. 

DON’T MISS this astonishing and inspiring new play about the woman who, in 1960,  
set in motion a legal process that would do nothing less than change the world. For more details, visit the theatre’s website at BridgeStreetTheatre.org.


Events at Bridge Street Theatre are supported in part by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Governor of New York and the New York State Legislature and by Public Funds from the Greene County Legislature. Bridge Street Theatre’s entire 2024 Season is sponsored by generous donations from Mary E. Barrett and Edwina Thorn




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