The Oct. 4 Guthrie Lab performances of Molly Sweeney offer the final chances to glimpse the debut of Guthrie Theater artistic director Joe Dowling directing on the nonprofit's intimate studio stage.
Brian Friel's drama about a blind woman regaining her sight began previews at the Minneapolis Guthrie's intimate house Sept. 11 and opened Sept. 16.
Jarlath Conroy plays the role of Dr. Rice, which was to have been performed by Edwin C. Owens. Owens bowed out of his role in Molly Sweeney, though, after an attack from an unknown assailant Sept. 5. According to the Associated Press, Owens was walking alone to his apartment when an unidentified man attacked him from behind. Owens fell, hitting his head on a rock, which caused a five-inch gash on his forehead. He was then beaten more.
Based on an Oliver Sacks case study, the title character in Sweeney is an independent, gregarious woman who has been blind since early childhood. Now at age 40, comfortable with her blindness, she faces the possibility of regaining her sight. Even as Molly, her enthusiastic husband Frank, and the formerly renowned ophthalmologist Dr. Rice, pin their hopes on the surgery's success, they become aware of the possible risks and disappointments that could result. Through a series of monologues, Molly, Frank, and Dr. Rice all tell their stories, seemingly oblivious to the presence of the others. *
The Guthrie Lab season continues with Gross Indecency by Moises Kaufmann (Nov. 13-Dec. 6) and Aristophanes' Lysistrata (March 17-April 4, 1999)
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