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A TIME TO LIVE
By Howard Goldstein
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A TIME TO LIVE
By Howard Goldstein
“If you could live forever, would you?”
This tender and intimate play centers on Richard, an Eastern philosophy studies professor, and his wife Madeline whose decision to stop her cancer treatment sets Richard on a caregiver’s journey to keep them both in the present moment together during A TIME TO LIVE.
Direction Carol Zippel
Windfall Theatre World Premiere!
A TIME TO LIVE by Howard Goldstein
February 15 – March 2, 2013
(2/22, 2/23, 2/25, 2/28, 3/1, 3/2)
Village Church Arts
130 E. Juneau Avenue
All performances at 8pm
BOX OFFICE: 332-3963
AUDIENCE AND CRITICS RESPOND TO A TIME TO LIVE
“A TIME TO LIVE” by Howard Goldstein.
*****This new play is superb! Highly, highly recommended. Opening night played to a full house. It is such a pleasure to be totally involved in a theatre performance with wonderful humour, the input of Buddhism and the rich symbology of the waters of the Great Lake of Michigan and the seasons. The two actors had incredible chemistry – an essential for this play. I’ve seen Romeo and Juliet where all was dead – ghastly. Do go and see this play written by talented local playwright – Howard Goldstein at the charming, intimate Windfall Theatre in the Village Church on 130 E. Juneau, downtown Milwaukee. This is a writer who knows how to use his words well – shear poetry.
~Chris Merritt, Opening Night, February 15, audience member
Posted to Windfall Theatre Facebook
Review of “A Time To Live”
By Julie McHale, Waukesha Freeman
“A Time to Live” is the kind of sweet-sad play that quietly breaks your heart. Written by local playwright Howard Goldstein and performed at The Windfall Theater in The Village Church on Juneau in Milwaukee, the story features a recently-married couple – she, a doctor, and he, a professor of Eastern philosophy, living through the last year of their life together.
The setting is in Milwaukee, near Lake Michigan, a phenomenon of nature that figures prominently in the story. The structure is episodic as the journey of Madeline and Richard unfolds through the four seasons of the year. Besides the dialogue between the two characters, both speak directly to the audience at times, giving us some thoughts they don’t share with each other.
The set design is simple but effective. It was a collaborative effort, shared by Carol Zippel (who also directed the play), Dan Austin and the playwright Howard Goldstein. Lighting was designed by Kevin Czarnota and is an important component in the story as time changes and wanes. The bed dominates the setting, but the window, the folding screen and the bookshelves filled with the “stuff” of their lives together also contribute to the story.
Madeline is dying of cancer and has chosen to stop treatment and try to enjoy the time that remains. Richard doesn’t totally agree with her decision but tries to be supportive and accepting. A plethora of human emotions reveal themselves here – confusion, sadness, frustration, anger, love, fear, despair, hope. Because their personalities are quite different, of course each character deals with pain and uncertainty quite differently, but the constant in the story is their steadfast love; albeit how to express it is far from simple and straightforward. Madeline often seems to be pushing him away, helping him to learn to live without her, and Richard is either clinging or escaping. Ironically, his knowledge of Buddhist teaching doesn’t seem to be a very helpful guide for him. However, by the story’s end, one feels a peace and acceptance, indicating that both characters have reached some measure of wisdom in the painful process of facing their mortality.
Beth Monhollen and Christopher Elst are superb in their roles. We grow to love them both but can’t quite understand how two such different people ended up together (but isn’t that always a mystery).
The references to and descriptions of Lake Michigan, which becomes a symbol of forces beyond our control, a source of beauty and enjoyment, and a reminder of how life is forever changing, greatly enriches the poignant, poetic script.
The intimate space of The Village Church is the perfect vehicle for a lovely but heart-wrenching piece such as this. Remaining performances of “A Time to Live” are February 22, 23, 25, 28, and March 1 and 2. All shows start at 8:00 at 130 E. Juneau Avenue. Call 414-332-3963 or visit www.windfalltheatre.com for tickets. There was a full house on opening night, so don’t wait to reserve a seat.
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