April 19th – May 6th, 2018
by Donald Margulies
Directors: Sue Murguly and Lynne Carrow
Featuring two forceful and captivating characters, ECHO Players production Collected Stories is a searching look at the lives of a pair of writers, focussing on their friendship, ambitions, conflicts, rivalries and betrayals.
Ruth Steiner (Beth DeVolder) an older, established writer, famous for her short stories, teaches and advises young authors. When she agrees to mentor eager Lisa Morrison (Jennifer Kelly), she gets more than she bargained for.
At their first meeting Lisa is a hero-worshipping chatterbox who just can’t shut up about her admiration for Ruth. The tough, seasoned pro views Lisa’s starry-eyed adulation with a jaundiced eye – but it is gratifying. In the course of their work together, Lisa overcomes her initial humility and begins to reveal her own grit, daring to question Ruth’s advice and challenge her authority. She also pumps Ruth for details about herself and the high point of life: her long ago romance with Brooklyn poet Delmore Schwartz.
When Lisa sell her first story – to a publication Ruth advises against – Ruth is startled to discover that her formerly too dependent protégée can be disconcertingly independent. Things come to a head with the publication of Lisa’s first novel. Ruth discovers that the girl has appropriated her life story, her Jewish background, and her turbulent love affair with Schwartz – which Ruth always regarded as too personal to write about. Lisa claims it’s an act of homage, but for Ruth it amounts to exploitation and plunder.
“Collected Stories…digs into its engaging tale of aesthetics and ethics told with intelligence and sharp, literate humor.” | New York Times
Collected Stories by Pulitzer winner Donald Margulies, a creative combination of drama and comedy is, “An actor’s dream. An audience’s reward.” | Hollywood Today
"As usual, Margulies holds the rich ore of his material up to the light so that it sends beams in every direction…always fluid and lively, the play is thick with ideas, like a stockpot of good stew." | Village Voice.
... Director's Notes (pdf)
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