‘Stoop Stories:’ a One-Woman Tour de Force
Obie Award-winning actor/playwright Dael Orlandersmith returns to Weston for a limited run of ‘Stoop Stories,’ a one-act drama that is powerful, intelligent and completely captivating. In the play, the Harlem native embodies a half-a-dozen characters – from an 81-year old Holocaust survivor recounting a chance encounter with Billy Holiday to a 13-year old Latina who succumbs to a sexy young gang member – united over the course of time by a ubiquitous city stoop. The show runs from Thursday, July 24 to Sunday, August 3, at the Weston Rod and Gun Club.
Orlandersmith is an esteemed contemporary American playwright and performer. An Obie Award-winner for ‘Beauty’s Daughter,’ which she wrote and starred in at American Place Theatre, she is best-known for ‘Yellowman,’ commissioned by the McCarter Theatre, and for which she was a 2002 Pulitizer Prize finalist for Drama and a nominee in 2003 for a Drama Desk Award. Her style of writing is poetic, her delivery is lyrical. Her stories, drawn from both life experience and from pure imagination, deal with hard subjects told by troubled characters.
If you want to spend 80 minutes glued to your seat on an emotional journey with delicate souls whose voices are seldom heard, delivered by one talented artist, then this is a show not to be missed. Note that Orlandersmith speaks the language of the streets of New York; while beautifully written, it is not always pretty.
Orlandersmith developed the play in part at a 2009 Weston Artists’ Retreat, where she met Steven Cosson, who will direct her in the production. Cosson is the artistic director of the NYC theatre, The Civillians. He is a writer and director specializing in the creation of new theatre work inspired by real life. Cosson won an Obie award in 2004 for his play ‘(I Am) Nobody’s Lunch’ and won a coveted First Fringe award at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2006.
Weston’s intimate and air-conditioned Weston Rod and Gun Club is located at 982 Route 100 in Weston, Vt. Show times are Tuesday to Saturday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m., and Sunday at 3 p.m. Tickets to the show start at just $15 and can be purchased by calling 802-824-5288 or online at westonplayhouse.org.