BWW Previews: A MOON FOR THE MISBEGOTTEN COMES TO Carrollwood Players Theatre
On November 9-17, Eugene O'Neill's words come vividly to life in the CWP Black Box at Carrollwood Players.
Directed by Zach "Hippie" Griswold, featuring Madison Claire Rice as Josie Hogan, Bo Smith as Jim Tyrone, Thomas Pahl as Phil Hogan, Constantine Kyriakou as T. Steadman Harder, and Joel Ferrer as Mike Hogan, A Moon for the Misbegotten written in 1943 still resonates today.
Set in a run-down home in early September 1923, A Moon for the Misbegotten is the story of a doomed man's guilt and the woman who tries desperately to love him.
Hippie, a tremendous fan of classic American theatre, hopes the audience finds a connection.
"I love life stories and that is essentially what Moon is," he said. "It's about interpersonal relationships among people and that's what I live for. I want to bring out the connections between the characters - what it means to connect with a person. The message of the show is don't sell yourself short and don't let past mistakes - past views of yourself - define your entire life. It's okay to be your true self."
Hippie said that Madison's character Josie is one you will be talking about long after you leave the theatre.
Josie is tough around the edges and she only reveals herself to a very select people, using her hard exterior as a defense mechanism to keep from getting hurt.
"Underneath the hard exterior, she's a softie. She has a very strong honor code. She is beautiful, but a flawed and caring individual," Madison said. "Every character in the show has something to learn. They all tie together with the same thing of being true to yourself. They all have these caricatures that they put out - guarding something that they shouldn't be. I want the audience to take away from the show that it's okay to be who you really are."
To speak of the play, both the director and actress said you have to discuss the incredible set by Anne Tully. The first wall-to-wall set in the black box theatre, Anne was able to perfectly reflect Hippie's vision. He credited Anne with creating one of the best sets in the black box.
"Anyone who loves a slice of life, great American play should come seen A Moon for the Misbegotten," said Hippie. "We hit the whole range of emotions - from comedy to drama to despair - in a two-and-a half-hour period. On the drive home, I hope the audience is thinking that life deserves to be lived."
A Moon for the Misbegotten will be presented by November 9-17. Performances are Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. Tickets may be purchased at the box office or online at https://app.arts-people.com/index.php?show=93519. Tickets are $12.