PASADENA, CA -- A drama about Harlem in the 1940s, The Old Settler concludes the Pasadena Playhouse's 1998 winter/spring season. Written by John Henry Redwood and directed by artistic director Sheldon Epps, the play started previews May 8, opens May 17 and runs through June 21.
Recognized recently with a special citation from the American Theatre Critics Association, The Old Settler tells the story of "two 50-something unmarried sisters, Elizabeth and Quilly, living in a Harlem apartment in 1943. In the parlance of the times, Elizabeth is considered to be an "old settler," a woman of a certain age and few prospects. Sharing a loving if sometimes quarrelsome life together, the two sisters' relationship is put to the test when they take in a young male boarder who has come to New York to search for his lost love," said a company spokesperson.
CCH Pounder will play Elizabeth, joined by Salli Richardson and Christopher B. Duncan, with casting for the role of Quilly to be announced.
Playwright Redwood based his story on his mother and aunt, who shared a home after his father died.
"I used to watch them bicker about little minor things and they would go on and on," he said. "I wanted to capture the love of these two sisters over time." The Old Settler was produced in New York and has won several prizes, including the 1995 Beverly Hills Theatre Guild/Julie Harris Playwriting Award and the Virginia Duvall Mann Playwriting Award.
Performances are Tues.- Fri. at 8 PM; Sat. at 5 & 9 PM; Sun. at 2 & 7 PM. There will be one 5 PM performance on opening night, May 17. The Pasadena Playhouse is at 39 S. El Molino Ave. Tickets are $13.50-$42.50. Call Telecharge at (800) 233-3123. Online information at www.pasadenaplayhouse.com.
-- By Willard Manus
Southern California Correspondent