‘Morning’s at Seven’ Plays Sept 27 – Oct 12 for Elgin’s Independent Players

Independent Players is proud to announce that the powerful, yet also humorous Paul Osborn play Morning’s at Seven opens on September 27 and runs Fridays and Saturdays through October 12, 2019 at the Elgin Art Showcase, 164 Division Street, Elgin.  The play is a restaging of the recent popular mounting at Right-Center-Left Production Company (RCLPC Theatre) in Crystal Lake this Summer. Many of the Summer cast have returned for the event, and are joined by some new, very talented additions to the cast.

The play is directed by the brilliant visionary Gina Belt-Daniels (who directed Tribute by Bernard Slade for Independent Players in 2000) and stars some of the area’s top talent: Steve Connell, Rob Cunningham, Elizabeth Dawson, Karen Greuel, Alison Hage, Judith Laughlin, Dan Scott, Paul Lockwood and Stephanie Wootten-Austin.

Written in 1938, Morning’s at Seven focuses on four aging sisters living in a small Midwestern town in 1928.  Cora Swanson and her sister Ida Bolton, along with their husbands Thor and Carl, have lived next to each other for their entire married lives.  In addition, an old-maid sister, Arry, has lived with Cora and Thor for her whole adult life.  A fourth sister, Esther and her husband David, live just down the road.

As the play opens, everyone is awaiting the arrival of Homer Bolton and his fiancée, Myrtle Brown.  They have been engaged for seven years , but this is the first time anyone in the family will have met her.  When they finally arrive, Homer’s father, Carl, is frightened that he will not make a good impression, has one of his “spells” and is kept out of sight for the time being.  Homer has no real desire to marry, in spite of the fact that his father has built and furnished a house, which has been sitting empty for some years, that will be his when and if he does marry.  Myrtle is beginning to wonder if she has waited long enough.

Cora and Carl have reached a secret agreement; if Homer doesn’t make a wedding announcement, Carl will lease the vacant house to Cora. This will enable her to finally live alone with her husband Thor after tolerating her sister Arry living with them for so many years. She plans to leave their present house to Arry. Thor and Arry, however, know nothing about this plan.

“In the final analysis,” writes Lawrence Henley, “the Gibbs sisters offer us proof that the pitfalls engendered by a lengthy family history of unresolved issues can be overcome, albeit with varying degrees of difficulty.  By maintaining their faith in the strength of the family unit, the characters have the ability to brave the storm, and resurface with their bindings intact.  The function of their dysfunction is catharsis, which results in a renewed understanding of what makes the others unique and deserving of love and respect. In the end, it purges the family of whatever bad blood exists, allowing them to overcome trouble in the worst of times. Most importantly, the final unearthing of their ‘skeletons in the closet’ enables them to extend and appreciate the most important gifts they receive—understanding and forgiveness.”

Morning’s at Seven will be presented on Fridays and Saturdays, September 27-28, October 4-5, and 11-12, 2019 with Curtain Time at 7:30 PM.  The venue:  Elgin Art Showcase, (in the Professional Building (Eighth Floor), 164 Division Street, Elgin.

Tickets are $15, with Senior Citizens (65 & over) at $12 and students (14-21) at $10.  Tickets may be purchased online at www.independentplayers.org and at the door prior to each performance (cash or check only). For reservations / information: call (847) 697-7374.

I knew very little of Morning’s at Seven prior to accepting the opportunity to perform in the RCLPC Theatre Summer production, but grew to love the quaint and moving story during my time in the show. While I was unable to clear my schedule to be a part of the Elgin remounting, I have every confidence in Belt-Daniels’ incredible directing talents and the exceptional skills of the cast that has been put together to create magic on the Independent Player’s stage.

I myself can’t wait to sit back and enjoy the touching story from the audience prospective. I invite you to do the same. You will laugh. You will have to wipe the tears from your eyes. You will be entertained and moved.

Peace. Love. Trust.

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