Not Your Grandma's AARP: Coming of Age, About Growing Older, Premieres in MI

News   Not Your Grandma's AARP: Coming of Age, About Growing Older, Premieres in MI One of Michigan's most-produced homegrown talents, playwright Kitty Dubin, sees her new play, Coming of Age, begin previews at Jewish Ensemble Theatre April 25.

Dubin was recently named playwright in residence at the West Bloomfield, MI, Equity company, in suburban Detroit.

The new comedy-drama's world premiere (to May 21) is directed by Gillian Eaton and features Naz Edwards, Mark Rademacher, Babs George and Thomas Hoagland.

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In the play, "Sarah and Holly, both in their mid-fifties and best friends since college, spend the same week together with their spouses every summer at a cottage on Lake Michigan. For the first time in 12 years, Holly, recently widowed, arrives alone and inconsolable. Totally dependent on her husband for 30 years, she now feels lost and alone. Sarah and her husband, Ben, are also struggling with a number of issues — facing an empty nest, the loss of parents, the prospect of retirement and the deterioration of their own marriage. Over the course of three summers, we follow these characters as they confront the realities of aging."

Aging parents, empty nests and absent spouses are ingredients in a new play by one of Michigan's most prolific and sensitive playwrights. Dubin's works — often charting suburban middle-class lives at major turning points — include Dance Like No One's Watching (BoarsHead Theatre, Lansing, in 2004 and JET in 2002); The Day We Met (JET, (2000); Change of Life (JET, 1995); Ties That Bind (Purple Rose Theatre Company, 1992); The Last Resort (JET in 1990 and Live Oak Theatre in Austin, TX, 1989); Mirrors (State Fair Theatre, Detroit, 1986). Dubin is professor of playwriting at Oakland University in Rochester, MI.

Of Coming of Age, Dubin told Playbill.com: "Knowing that turning 60 would be challenging for me, I began preparing for it about 10 years before the dreaded date. I, along with everyone else I knew, had been struggling with a number of age-related issues including the loss of parents, children leaving home, the prospect of retirement, and most difficult for women in our culture, becoming invisible to men. These things seemed to be happening all at once and I felt completely unprepared for them.

"I wrote Coming of Age to explore this particularly complex stage of life and to try to become more comfortable with it. To my knowledge, this subject has not been dealt with before in theatrical terms and I'm hoping audiences will be able to identify with the characters and to find comfort and laughter in their parallel struggles."

Dubin is repped by Selma Luttinger, of the Robert A. Freedman Dramatic Agency, New York City.

For more information, visit www.jettheatre.org.

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