BWW Review: TRYING at George Street Playhouse is a Must-See Play that Brings Together History and Humanity

BWW Review: TRYING at George Street Playhouse is a Must-See Play that Brings Together History and Humanity

"Sarah, when you're in your persistent mood, the flies leave the room."

By Judge Francis Biddle in Trying

George Street Playhouse (GSP) is now presenting Trying by Joanna McClelland Glass through April 8. Directed by Jim Jack, the show stars Philip Goodwin and Carly Zien. This is a two-hander like no other. Exquisitely written, creatively staged, and with superb acting, Trying makes a lasting impression. It is an outstanding, moving play that brings together history and humanity.

Trying is set in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington DC in the late 1960's. Francis Biddle, who had the distinction of being Chief Judge of the Nuremberg trials and the Attorney General under President Franklin D. Roosevelt, is 81 years old and in poor health. In the office over his garage, he struggles to complete his memoirs, organize his correspondence, and keep family finances in order. Into his life enters Sarah, a hard-working young woman from Saskatchewan who was hired to be Biddle's secretary by his wife, Katherine. While Judge Biddle is still quite sharp, he proves to be difficult and inflexible making Sarah's job very challenging. At first the two seem to be an odd couple, but as their work and day-to-day relationship evolves, they influence each other in unexpected ways. This personal and professional view of the two characters is based on playwright Joanna McClelland Glass' real-life experience as Biddle's secretary.

BWW Review: TRYING at George Street Playhouse is a Must-See Play that Brings Together History and Humanity

Phillip Goodwin as Judge Francis Biddle and Carly Zien are ideal in their roles. Goodwin masters the part of the dignified and principled elder statesman who is also a stickler for proper English grammar. Zien captures the role of Sarah, the stoic, sensitive young woman whose mission is to organize Biddle. These two actors deliver Joanna McClelland Glass' wonderfully crafted dialogue with perfect timing.

BWW Review: TRYING at George Street Playhouse is a Must-See Play that Brings Together History and Humanity

The GSP Creative Team has brought Judge Biddle's office to life with set design by Jason Simms; costume design by Esther Arroyo, lighting design by Christopher J. Bailey. Scott Killian is the Composer and Sound Designer; Christopher J. Bailey is the Production Manager; Jane Pole is the Production Stage Manager: Casting by McCorkle Casting, Ltd.

We are living in an era when truth and values matter. It is an excellent time to experience Trying, a valuable snapshot of American history and a fine portrayal of human integrity. Get your tickets to this must-see show.

The GSP Creative Team has brought Judge Biddle's office to life with set design by Jason Simms; costume design by Esther Arroyo, lighting design by Christopher J. Bailey. Scott Killian is the Composer and Sound Designer; Christopher J. Bailey is the Production Manager; Jane Pole is the Production Stage Manager: Casting by McCorkle Casting, Ltd.

Trying will be performed at George Street Playhouse through April 8. The run time is 2 hours with one 15-minute intermission. While their new theatre is under construction, the Playhouse has an interim location at 103 College Farm Road (right off Route 1) in New Brunswick on the Cook Campus of Rutgers University. The venue features 190 seats, expansive lobby spaces including an outdoor patio, free parking and barrier free access to all public areas. For ticketing, directions, and more information, please visit https://georgestreetplayhouse.org/ or call 732.246.7717.

Photo Credit: T. Charles Erickson

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