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Metropolitan Virtual Playhouse Presents OVERTONES


Obie Award winner Metropolitan Playhouse will present a "screened" reading of Alice Gerstenberg's 191 one-act, OVERTONES, via live stream video on Saturday, April 18, 2020 at 8 PM, EST.

OVERTONES presents two society women, longtime "friends," one who married a struggling painter, the other who had rejected him to wed an ambitious man of business. When they meet for a very civilized tea, they are shadowed by their decidedly uncivilized real selves: their ids incarnate, portrayed by other actors and speaking the ladies' innermost, combative thoughts. A play of social mores and a fascination with the our inner lives, Overtones is both a thrilling vision of early 20th century understanding of the psyche and a wickedly funny comedy of social not-so-niceties.

HEARTS is directed by the theater's artistic director, Alex Roe.

Information about the theater's ARTISTS RELIEF FUND may be found at Access the stream here.

The VIRTUAL PLAYHOUSE began on March 28, 2020, with Alice Gerstenberg's "He Said and She Said," continued the following week with Eugene O'Neill's "The Rope," with five times the attendance, and last week played Gerstenberg's "Hearts," which was simultaneously broadcast on New York's Pacifica Radio Station WBAI, 99.5 FM. For this period of social distancing, with Metropolitan Playhouse's facility closed, actors read parts to the camera from their homes, using the Zoom platform, which enables all characters in a scene to be onscreen simultaneously.

Weekly readings are in progress, with mid-week programing in develpment, all drawn from the rich trove of lost American theater. The playhouse is honored and fortunate to be able to continue its mission of exploring America's diverse theatrical history during these trying times.

The presentation of the forgotten plays of Alice Gerstenberg is an ideal way to pursue the theater's mission and extend its current season, devoted to plays and themes of DISSENT.

Alice Gerstenberg (1885 - 1972) was an actress and playwright from Chicago, best known for her ground breaking, feminist dramas, and her promotions of the Little Theater movement. Best known for OVERTONES (1913) and THE POT BOILER (1923)--both of which are planned for later online readings by Metropolitan--her comedic plays skewer social norms and gender types, while they include meta-theatrical staging experiments and sly critiques of theater and artistic practice. Ms. Gerstenberg was also a champion of regional theater, non-commercial theater, and new writing for local audiences.

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