As part of its 16th season, the Mary-Arrchie Theatre Company has been presenting the Chicago premiere of Clearing Hedges, a one-woman show by Jennifer Barclay. The production, directed by Jay Paul Skelton, began performances Nov. 26 and opened Nov. 27 at Angel Island. The solo ends its scheduled run Dec. 18.
Clearing Hedges tells the real-life tale of Babe Didrikson Zaharias, an accomplished female athlete whose dazzling achievements in a variety sports intrigued both the public and the media. Barclay portrays multiple characters in order to explore the impact of a woman who balances the scales of gender equality in a field where women's abilities are often underestimated.
Originally workshopped at Northwestern University under the mentorship of Mary Zimmerman (Metamorphoses), Clearing Hedges premiered last year at the International Theatre of Vienna in Austria. The play is also scheduled to be produced in Scotland as part of the upcoming 2002 Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Jennifer Barclay is currently featured in Mary-Arrchie's production of From Both Hips by Mark O'Rowe. Past experience has linked her with Steppenwolf, the Court Theatre, the Peninsula Players and The International Theatre of Vienna, among others.
Clearing Hedges runs through Dec. 18 at Angel Island, located at 731 W. Sheridan Road in Chicago. The show, which carries a ticket price of $10, performs on Mondays and Tuesday at 8 PM. For more information or to make a reservation, call 773-871-0442. — by Esther Sapan