Little Fish Theatre's Mysterious And Magical Tale PROVENANCE Opens 5/3
A tale of a librarian whose self-imposed isolation high atop a mountain is broken by a worldly woman on a quest to read a list of 100 books takes the stage in Little Fish Theatre's second midweek show of its 2018 season. Written by Elyzabeth Gregory Wilder, the 2012 Tennessee Williams Playwright-in-Residence at Sewanee University and directed by Little Fish Theatre Company Member Holly Baker-Kreiswirth, Provenance will make even the most skeptical believe in magic again.
Cleo's life is spent caring for rare books in a library reached by driving up a foggy and foreboding mountain. Her only contact with the outside world comes by way of students from the village below, whom Cleo teaches to read - including a gentleman named George, who is in love with her. Cleo's life is forever changed by the sudden arrival of Frances, a cultured connoisseur of first edition publications. Frances is on a quest to read a list of 100 books, and the last book is in Cleo's library. Frances has also summoned her estranged daughter, Amelia, to join her. But when the final book on her list turns up missing, Frances refuses to leave and Cleo faces a hard truth about her own life. Provenance is a story about the books we read and the stories we tell.
Playwright Wilder was named the Tennessee Williams Playwright-in-Residence at Sewanee University in 2012. She says, "Williams, whose grandfather attended the Episcopal seminary at the University, left his estate to the school. The money is used to fund, among other things, a playwright-in-residence. I arrived at the school having been home with my daughter for two years. I was desperate to write and the fellowship afforded me that freedom. With a rich literary tradition, I found myself on top of this mountain, known for its mystical, dense fog, surrounded by books." She continues, "The private library sits on top of the mountain and looks down over the valley below. Each time I drove up the mountain, the library was there keeping watch. So Provenance was borne out of all of those things. There's something a bit mystical and magical about Sewanee, and I wanted to capture that as well."
"This script enchanted me from page one," says Baker-Kreiswirth, who directed LFT's Laughter on the 23rd Floor last season. "Every character has a secret, and a loss, that they've been keeping inside for far too long. It takes this particular group of people, together at this one specific point in time, for their secrets to be told, their stories to be revealed, and for the magic to happen." She adds, "This group of artists brings these characters to life in the most captivating way. We are all incredibly lucky to work with Wilder's fascinating script."
LFT Company Members make up the cast. Kathryn Farren plays lonely librarian, Cleo. Her short film "The What If Factor" premiered at the North Hollywood Cinefest festival in March. Antiquarian Frances is taken on by Susie McCarthy, who played George Sand in LFT's production of Dear Master. Amelia, Frances's alienated daughter, is played by Maire-Rose Pike* who last took the stage with LFT in 2017's The Good Doctor. Sweet and sympathetic George is played by Bill Wolski, most recently on stage along with Farren in Best of Pick of the Vine.
Provenance will run on Thursdays May 3 through May 24 at 8:00pm, with two Wednesday shows on May 16 and May 23 at 8:00pm. There will be two Sunday 2:00pm matinees on May 6 and May 18. The May 6 matinee features a special Talkback session where the actors and creative team will be available for a post-show discussion with the audience.
Founded in 2002 as an artists' ensemble, Little Fish Theatre presents classic and contemporary plays in an intimate setting on Centre Street in downtown San Pedro.