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BWW Previews: Director John Fagan on Centre Stage's New Production of One Woman Show APPLES IN WINTER

APPLES IN WINTER will be available to stream February 25-28, 2021.

BWW Previews: Director John Fagan on Centre Stage's New Production of One Woman Show APPLES IN WINTER

Miriam is baking an apple pie.

But not just any pie.

This pie is a special request from her son, an inmate on death row.

It will be his last meal.

APPLES IN WINTER is a powerful one-woman show by Jennifer Fawcett. Greenville's Centre Stage is hosting a new streaming production of the play, starring local actor Anne Robards, and directed by John Fagan.

Tickets to view the stream are $20 - and include an optional apple pie kit so you can make your own pie while you watch. The stream will be available February 25-28.

We asked director John Fagan to tell us more.


BWW: First off, please tell us a little about the show.

JOHN FAGAN: Apples in Winter is a one-woman show about a mother who is baking an apple pie for her son's final meal before he is put to death for crimes he committed many years before. His mother's pie was his request.

What was the rehearsal process like?

Interesting. Because it is a one woman piece, we were able to rehearse via Zoom. We did this for the first two weeks and then for a few days later because one of the team was involved with a person who had tested positive. We did get together and work in BWW Previews: Director John Fagan on Centre Stage's New Production of One Woman Show APPLES IN WINTERperson for the final two weeks. We did these while masked and social distancing.

We did spend a lot of time discussing this script. We learned that each of us have relatives or people we love who could have very well ended up in the same situation. We allowed ourselves the ability to step away from the script and take a break from the tension. We did our damnedest to find places for humor and levity. I've got to give enormous props to Anne Robards for taking on this piece so bravely and openly.

How did you approach making this piece for video? How is it different from what you would have done in a live stage setting?

Generally, for a solo piece, we try to find a way to make the dialogue more conversational than merely being a monologue. We try to find those moments where a relationship can be set up between the actor and the audience. Filming it brought up a new set of challenges, in the manner of the actor receiving little response from the camera. However, the camera can provide an intimacy the stage cannot. We were also given more options in staging with the camera. There are parts of the piece in which the actor turns her back to what would be the audience and speaks in a very hushed tone. We could never do that onstage. Also, there is a part where she goes to the floor behind a large work table. Again, shouldn't be done onstage, the audience wouldn't see her. Because we knew it would be filmed, we were able to behave more intimately. We did, however, lose one of the more wonderful aspects by filming. When this piece is staged before an audience, we get to smell the pie being baked. I would recommend anyone viewing it to purchase an apple pie scented candle.

How/where did you record it?

[Centre Stage Managing Artistic Director] Laura Nicholas found a great space that is an industrial kitchen. We were able to use the space to its fullest. The owner gave us carte blanche in whatever we wished to do. So we spent the better part of a Saturday filming it. It was a new and fun experience for most of us.

The show is pretty emotional. What do you hope viewers will take away with them?

It truly is. Whenever there is a tragedy that leaves people dead, we quickly think of the survivors of the victims. Our hearts go out to them. Then we think of the perpetrators and want justice and often, revenge. Rarely do we think of the families of those who commit such terrible deeds. They too, are also victims of the crime.BWW Previews: Director John Fagan on Centre Stage's New Production of One Woman Show APPLES IN WINTER

This play examines the guilt, anger and confusion the mother of a murderer in a very real, humane way. She knows there are no answers and yet, she looks for them. She blames herself. She hasn't a clue as to where this possibility for violence came from in her son. Yet, through all of this, he remains her son. She cannot help but love her son.

I expect the audiences look beyond what often seems a simple answer to avenging a crime. I hope they will look to the humanity of all the victims. With record numbers of people on death row in America, I hope this opens the conversation of how our justice system works. I hope we can look at how we support all victims of terrible crimes.

How much apple pie have you eaten during this process?

Would you believe, not enough?


APPLES IN WINTER will be available to stream on Centre Stage's streaming platform at www.othervisionstudios.com February 25-28, 2021.

Tickets to view the stream are $20 and include an optional apple pie kit so you can watch the show and make the pie along with Miriam! Visit CentreStage.org or call the box office at (864) 233-6733 to purchase tickets.

PHOTO CREDIT: Wallace Krebs


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