Coping with the death of a parent is subject of two very different -- and very similar -- one-act plays by Suzan Lori Parks and Allison Eve Zell, presented together as She Keeps Time at New York City's Mint Theatre space. Pickling, the Parks piece, and Come to Leave, Zell's effort, run Aug. 1-17 with Zell directing.
In Pickling, Miss Miss, a middle-aged African American woman, finds herself freed by the death of her mother. She begins to break through and embrace her past -- present in her mother's pickle jars -- which surround her. In Come to Leave, a young Jewish graduate of Vassar, who appears first in a steamer trunk, unlocks the hidden part of her that went silent when her father died freshman year. Both plays use humor, a Beckett-esque sensibility, and props as their characters learn to mourn and move on.
Parks is the author of the Obie-winning Venus and Imperceptible Mutabilities in the Third Kingdom, as well as In the Blood, Fucking A, Talking on Jupiter and the Public Theatre's 2000-01 season entry, Topdog/Underdog. A director first, Zell has helmed productions at Joe's Pub, Soho Rep and The Women's Project and Productions.
Jaye Austin-Williams plays Miss Miss in Pickling, with Lethia Nall as Woman in Come To Leave. Playwright and director Austin Williams (Girth) has shopped this production of Pickling to the Public's Joe's Pub and at HERE. Her other credits include Jose Rivera's Sonnets for an Old Century at New York Theatre Workshop and Charles Watson's The Lonely Room at Lincoln Center Institute. Nall has performed at the Montreal and Edinburgh Fringe Festivals and will play Celia in As You Like It at the 2000 New York International Fringe Festival.