BWW Previews: THE ROOMMATE SHOWCASES THE COMICAL MISMATCH OF TWO WOMEN OF AN EVOCATIVE AGE at American Stage
Helmed by Kristin Clippard in her American Stage directorial debut, "The Roomate" by Jen Silverman opens at American Stage on March 13 through April 7. Dubbed "Breaking Bad meets Grace and Frankie," this breakout 2015 two-person dramedy, emerged from the prestigious Humana Festival of new American plays.
"They're two women of an evocative age who are moving into together in big house in Iowa City, Iowa. One is coming fresh off a divorce and the other, escaping a certain unhealthy lifestyle," said Kristin. "We watch as they get to know one another, build a friendship and learn to grow and get pushed outside of their comfort zones."
In the aftermath of a failed marriage and an empty nest, Sharon decides to take in a lodger, sight unseen who turns out to be her direct opposite.
The evocative line 'there's great liberty in being bad' runs throughout the story. "The Roommate" poses the question 'can we find self-fulfillment by going beyond our comfort zone?'.
"It's a really, really sweet show and very funny. I think a lot of people will relate to the sense of seeking a connection to another human being, being at the place of a crossroads in your life and wanting to seek fulfillment for yourself at this new stage of your life," she said. "I'm excited to be presenting the audience to consider 'can we become a better human being by allowing ourselves to be (in finger quotes) bad. Your first shot may not be great, but there's something liberating and freeing about being bad because it can awaken you to new things and broaden your perspective."
Kristin explained that the audience should expect to be delighted by actors Annie and Robyn, two vibrant women whose characters are surprising, challenging and incredibly complex.
"We coined the term women of an evocative age because we didn't like the term women of a certain age. Women in their 50s in our society often get ignored. You tend to notice a sense of invisibility around them - like people can look right past them. Those women need to be recognized about incredible they are, how much they have to offer at that stage in their game and how they're not dead yet."
Kristin recommends the show for anyone who has a woman in their life. "So practically everyone," she quipped.
"The show is for anyone who likes to laugh. These two actresses bring a lot of themselves into these two women. They have an intuitive sense of who these characters are. It's a story of two unlikely people accepting each other for who they are, not judging each other's choices and being open to sharing their life experiences. It's pretty inspirational during these divisive times that we live in."
The Roommate is at American Stage, 163 3rd St N, St. Pete on Thursday-Sunday, March 13 - April 7. Tickets are available at www.americanstage.org.