Cape May Stage in New Jersey will stream a virtual reading of Kenneth Jones’ three-actor, one-set play Two Henrys live on Facebook 7 PM June 18 in celebration of Pride Month as part of the not-for-profit Equity company’s commitment to the development of new works. Producing artistic director Roy Steinberg will direct Annie Edgerton, Marlena Lustik and Barry Phillips in the humor-laced drama about a family sifting through grief, guilt, prejudices and perception in the age of marriage equality.
Stage directions will be read by Mitchell Malnati. Find the Cape May Stage Facebook events page here.
Like all theaters worldwide, Cape May Stage is currently shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic.
This virtual reading, with artists participating from their homes, marks the first time the playwright will hear changes that were made to the script following a 2019 workshop by Red Mountain Theatre Company in Birmingham, AL. The two-time O’Neill National Playwrights Conference Semi-Finalist has also been developed by Pioneer Theatre Company, Hudson Stage Company, the Co-Op of Pacific Resident Theatre and Hudson Stage Company.
Here’s how the Florida-set Two Henrys is billed: “In the dead of winter, Henry [played by Phillips] flies from New York to Florida to offer condolences at the funeral of a father figure he never knew. But as the booze flows at the wake, are the surviving widow [Lustik] and her grown daughter [Edgerton] ready to raise a glass to the unexpected guest? Set in 2012, somewhere between the dusk of the worst days of the AIDS crisis and the dawn of marriage equality, Two Henrys is a humor-laced drama about guilt and grief, perceptions and prejudices and the urge to find family.”
Kenneth Jones is a New York City based playwright whose six-actor, one-set play Alabama Story has been seen in more than 30 productions since its world premiere by Pioneer Theatre Company in 2015. Three productions of the play in spring 2020 were shortened, cancelled or postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic that led to the worldwide shutdown of theatrical productions.
In May 2020, Florida Studio Theatre in Sarasota invited Jones and more than 30 other theater makers to be part of The Playwrights Project, for which they were given seven weeks of employment to create new work during the pandemic, with an eye toward possible future development.
Learn more about Cape May Stage’s 2020 Virtual Reading and Lecture Series.
Cape May Stage is located at the Robert Shackleton Playhouse on the corner of Bank and Lafayette Streets in the heart of the historic district in Cape May, NJ. The venue is a Renaissance Revival (circa 1853) building which formerly served as the Presbyterian Church and the City’s Welcome Center.
Caper May Stage’s mission “is to produce compelling impactful theatre that engages audiences to enrich their lives.” The goals are “seeking to achieve the highest professional quality theatre through our diverse productions; producing contemporary theatre which engages, inspires, challenges, and entertains our audience; being stewards of the public trust and the resources provided to us by the community; inspiring students and engaging seniors via outreach programs based on the performing arts.”