Photo Flash: First Look at FROM DOOR TO DOOR at Stage Door Theatre
Stage Door Theatre will open James Sherman's gentle comedy From Door to Door in the venue's intimate Theatre 2 on May 25th. The production will run through July 1st. A heartfelt tribute to American women of three generations, From Door to Door explores the influence culture and religion have in shaping life's options.
Even as Mary Goodman, a woman of the 'greatest generation' is mourning the loss of her husband, her daughter Deborah is encouraging her to end her period of mourning and move on with a new independence. In a series of scenes between Mary, Deborah, and Mary's mother, Bessie, Mary reflects back on her life as a daughter, wife and mother. Three actresses play the three women over the course of sixty-five years, and as we see Mary's life progress from childhood to matrimony to motherhood, we begin to understand how each successive generation of women lives up to the expectations of the past and makes brave new choices about the future.
Playwright James Sherman has penned numerous hit plays, several of which including Beau Jest and God of Isaac have enjoyed successful productions at Stage Door Theatre. Other Sherman plays include Mr. 80%, The Escape Artist, This Old Man Came Rolling Home, Jest A Second!, Romance in D, The Old Man's Friend, Affluenza!, Half and Half, Relatively Close, and Jacob and Jack. However, Sherman has acknowledged From Door to Door is deeply personal: "There's no secret this play is inspired by my mother," he has said. "I think all plays are autobiographical, the more I think about it. Edward Albee wrote Three Tall Women and those women were New England upper-class, like his family was. The women in my play are Jewish in Chicago because that's where I was from."
Director Michael Leeds has cast Marah Lieberman as Deborah, Ellen Murray as Mary, and Fern Katz as Bessie. Katz and Murray are mother and daughter in 'real life', which Leeds believes will bring an added poignancy to the production. And the similarities between the characters and their portrayers don't end there:
"Chicago is where I was born, raised, and married," Katz reminisces. "Roosevelt Road, where my mother worked; Rogers Park and Skokie where my children were born and spent most of their childhoods; all the familiar streets and suburbs where family and friends still live, is a wonderful trip down memory lane. Though my Bubbe (grandmother), my mother, and I may not exactly be Bessie, Mary, or Deborah, it is definitely part of who I am. And sharing the stage with my daughter in this generational play is truly the icing on the cake, or as Bessie would say, 'this is a wonderful thing.'"
"A Jewish mother and daughter from Chicago playing a Jewish mother and daughter from Chicago." Ellen Murray says. "They lived in Skokie, we lived in Skokie. The playwright said in an interview he remembers waiting in line to see "A Hard Day's Night" at the Skokie Theatre. I saw "Help" (and hundreds of other movies) at the Skokie Theatre. Bessie and Mary's relationship is not like my mother's and mine, but because I'm with her on stage, I'm home."
From Door to Door will run from May 25 - July 1 at Stage Door Theatre. The theatre is located at 8036 Sample Road, in Margate (33065). Tickets for From Door to Door are $48. Group rates are available, as are student prices (with valid ID). Tickets may be purchased at the Broward Stage Door Theatre box office at 954-344-7765 or on line at www.stagedoorfl.org.