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THE CHILDREN is Now Playing at Open Book Theatre Company

Performances run through December 11.

THE CHILDREN is Now Playing at Open Book Theatre Company

Something is clearly lurking below the surface when Rose pays an unexpected visit to her old friends and colleagues. The Children, playing through December 11 at Open Book Theatre in Trenton, slowly peels back the layers of its complicated characters, revealing decades of history and some startling revelations about the future.

Director Sarah Hawkins Rusk explains "I was instantly drawn to the humanity of these characters as they struggle with the consequences of their actions, both between themselves and on a larger scale. This play is a feast of moral ambiguity."

Married couple Robin and Hazel have abandoned their home after an off shore earthquake has compromised a nearby nuclear power plant where they used to work as engineers. They've moved 10 miles down the coast to a borrowed seaside cottage. Hazel says that leaving altogether would feel "disloyal to the land."

"The set is designed to bring the audience into the cottage with the characters...almost feeling a bit claustrophobic, too close for comfort," says Lindel Salow, who plays Robin. "Additionally, there is limited use of power on set until late in the play. Much of the design echoes the feeling of having what's needed but not necessarily what we want....the necessities rather than the luxuries."

Robin and Hazel have formed a routine in their new home, which is disrupted when their former friend and coworker, Rose, shows up unexpectedly with an undisclosed agenda. The three catch up, reminisce about old times, and eventually Rose reveals her true intent. "The tangled relationships between these three characters are so rife with complications and entanglements from their history and what is happening between them currently, it gives all of us - as actors - such a rich background to work from," says Tina Parventi, who plays Rose.

All three must wrestle with not only their personal responsibilities, but their more global responsibilities in relation to the disaster. "The Children brings up many important questions that we are facing as we confront humanity's impact on the natural world," says Wendy Katz Hiller, who plays Hazel. "What are our obligations to the planet? How do we reconcile these with our wants and needs? What are the ramifications of our choices? What are we leaving for future generations? I'm sure the audience will have lots to think about and discuss on the way home."

Individual tickets are only $30 for general admission, $25 for seniors, and $15 for students. Tickets can be purchased online at openbooktc.com or through the box office. More information can be found online or by calling 734 288-7753. Open Book is a very intimate space, and therefore requires the audience and staff to mask as a COVID safety precaution.

The play is written by Lucy Kirkwood and directed by Sarah Hawkins Rusk. It features Wendy Katz Hiller as Hazel, Tina Paraventi as Rose, and Lindel Salow as Robin. Lighting design by Harley Miah. Scenic Design by Sarah Hawkins Rusk. Properties and Costume design by Krista Schafer Ewbank. Sound design by Sarah Hawkins Rusk. Intimacy Choreography by Vicki Morgan. Stage managed by Rachel Marengere. Gordon Mosley served as Scenic Carpenter, and Bradly Byrne as Scenic Painter.




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