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Metropolitan Virtual Playhouse Presents HEARTS, By Alice Gerstenberg

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Obie Award winner Metropolitan Playhouse will present a "screened" reading of Alice Gerstenberg's 1917 one-act, HEARTS, via live stream video on Saturday, April 11, 2020 at 8 PM, EST. Available by Zoom and YouTube: www.metropolitanplayhouse.org/virtualplayhouse

HEARTS revolves around a social ritual with which we are becoming too familiar: a game of cards. The ladies of a small city's nearly impenetrable high society play a regular game of Hearts, but it is a social gamble for one. The effervescent, well-intentioned second wife of a beloved doctor, seeks to be accepted by the doyenne's, and when she plays, the stakes are far higher than the wagers. But this particular game on this particular day finds there may be more that unites than divides, when it comes to hearts.

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

Metropolitan is delighted to present these readings as a small way of keeping the theater's pilot lit. They also serve to help us compensate performing artists, so particularly struck by this long "pause."

Information about the theater's ARTISTS RELIEF FUND may be found at
www.metropolitanplayhouse.org/covidaid

The VIRTUAL PLAYHOUSE began on March 28, 2020, with Alice Gerstenberg's "He Said and She Said," and continued wiht Eugene O'Neill's "The Rope," with five times the attendance. 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 nightly shorter works planned, 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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