Portland Stage Announces the World Premiere of Monica Wood's THE HALF-LIGHT

A chance encounter presents a tantalizing question for a college secretary: Can anyone be trained to see the dead? Her dogged pursuit of an answer leads to a far more earthbound challenge when a colleague is felled by grief. A heartwarming drama about love and purpose that examines the ghosts that live within us all. The Half-Light was developed as part of the 2018 Little Festival of the Unexpected at Portland Stage.

"All my work, from novels to plays, is about creating family out of broken parts. My newest play, The Half-Light, explores this same idea, but also looks at life after death in two senses. In one way it asks what happens after one dies, but in another way it asks how do the living go on? Ultimately I wanted to write a story about loss and redemption. Play development is such a different process from writing a novel. I find it is both thrilling and humbling. Actors teach me so much about characters I thought I knew. On one hand, I think, 'Thank you!' On the other: 'How could I have MISSED that?'"

Monica Wood is a novelist, memoirist, and playwright. Her most recent novel, The One-in-a-Million Boy, has been published in 22 languages in 30 countries and won a 2017 Nautilus Award (Gold) and the New England Society Book Award. She is also the author of When We Were the Kennedys, a New England bestseller, Oprah magazine summer-reading pick, and winner of the May Sarton Memoir Award and the 2016 Maine Literary Award. Her novel Any Bitter Thing was an ABA bestseller and Book Sense Top Ten pick. Her other fiction includes Ernie's Ark, which has been excerpted on NPR's "Selected Shorts" and selected by several towns and cities as their "One Book, One Community" read; My Only Story, a finalist for the Kate Chopin Award; and Secret Language, her first novel. Her widely anthologized short stories have won a Pushcart Prize and been featured on public radio. She also writes books for writers and teachers. Her nonfiction has appeared in Oprah, New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Parade, and many other publications. Her first play, Papermaker, debuted at Portland Stage in an extended run, its bestselling play ever.

Portland Stage is a hub of creative activity and energy known for its professional Mainstage Theater Productions, its creation of vital Education Programs, both in-schools and in-house, and for cultivating new voices in theater through New Work Programs that foster experimentation and artistic risk. Engage with all we do portlandstage.org.

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