Fefu and Her Friends
Irene Maria Fornes
March 4 – April 1, 2001
Gut-busting, in-your-face comedy!
Irene Maria Fornes’ Fefu and Her Friends depicts a gathering of eight women at a large New England mansion, and the middle act consists of four scenes held at separates places in the facility. The audience divides into four groups. files through the theater and watches each episode in turn.
thus the entrance to the theater doubles as a lawn, a storage room, a study, etc. its a gimmicky device, but it puts an interesting spin on the notion of the “fourth wall” of a performance space, as well as offering a fun tour of the playhouse’s backstage area. But mostly, its like being on a scavenger hunt, only the object of the game isn’t to find a physical prize, but the meaning of the play itself.
Fefu and Her Friends written in 1977 and only now having its southeastern professional premiere, is not a play that’s easily puzzled out. In exploring the ways women see themselves and how they believe men see them. Fornes shows little conern for adhering to narrative rules or meeting audience expectations. Fornes’ Fefu is driven not by plot, but an odd combination of cheerful party dynamics and deeper, darker forces, and its scenes can please or provoke but rarely fully satisfy
Fefu (Patricia French) plays host to seven friends in 1935 for a meal and politically motivated meeting. Aggressively nonconformist, she’s prone to outlandish remarks and behavior like firing a her off-stage husband with a rifle that may or may not contain a blank cartridge. Of the other women, some are longtime companions, some are strangers with shared beliefs. The most unsettling character is Julia (Jennifer Levison) confined to a wheelchair having suffered spinal damage — and lingering delusions — after a hunting accident.
The first and third acts, each roughly a half-hour, take place on Rochelle Barker’s cozily realistic set, and show the women first coming together, and later holding their meeting and clowning around. For the middle sequence, director Weir Harman largely succeeds with the striking logistic feat of having four scenes happening simultaneously, with some women leaving one scene to appear in another. you can even overhear scenes from different rooms, like the events of an actual party.
“ALL THE MORE POWERFUL FOR BEING SO FEARLESSLY UNPREDICTABLE.”
– Los Angeles TIMES
“SEARING AND SENSATIONALLY FUNNY!”
– New York Times
“EXPLOSIVE. INSANELY ENTERTAINING AND COMPLETELY ENGAGING.”
– New York Magazine
Cast & Creative Team
Kathleen Wattis Kettrey
PROPERTIES DESIGNER/ SET DECORATOR
Joan Foster McMarty
Joan Foster McMarty
SEAMUS M. BOURNE
D. CONNOR MCVEY
ASSISTANT STAGE MANAGER
CHARGE SCENIC ARTIST
Two hours with one intermission
Audience Advisory: This production contains full nudity, strong adult language and descriptions and depictions of sensitive and intense issues and situations. For more detailed information about potential trigger warnings, please click HERE
There is open seating for this production.
May 12 & 13 at 8 pm
May 14 at 8 pm
May 14 – June 12, 2022
Wednesdays – Saturdays at 8 pm
Sundays at 2 pm