Ashland Contemporary Theatre presents “Walter Cronkite is Dead” by Joe Calarco, directed by Jeannine Grizzard and starring Presila Quinby* and Elizabeth Suzanne. October 28 – November 18.
It’s the kind of story that could happen in Medford or at any airport or waiting room. A fierce thunderstorm has grounded all flights and two women of opposite political stripes are stranded at Reagan National Airport. They share a table, some wine, their experiences and opinions about community, culture and motherhood. Liberal Margaret (Presila Quinby) and conservative Patty (Elizabeth Suzanne) find unexpected layers of mutual understanding as the hours roll by. Their conversation is funny, difficult, deeply revealing and astonishingly frank. Americans’ sense of shared reality may be as gone as Walter Cronkite’s Evening News, but this insightful comedy echoes his equanimity and wisdom about what we can learn from each other when all the shouting stops.
ACT discovered “Cronkite” after an extensive search for a role befitting Presila Quinby’s farewell to Valley theatre. After almost 20 years entertaining local audiences Presila and her husband Bil Leonhart are planning a move. ACT couldn’t let that happen without creating an opportunity for her to inspire us once more. *Presila Quinby appears courtesy of Actors Equity Association.
Tickets are $18, available at the door, at Paddington Station, Grocery Outlet and online by clicking here. Tickets purchased online have reserved seats up front.
The play opens Sunday, October 28th with a 2pm matinee at the Ashland Community Center, 59 Winburn Way. Shows are every Saturday at 8pm and Sunday at 2pm at the Community Center thru November 18th. Additionally, there is a special Saturday matinee at 2pm on November 10th at the Community Center, and a Friday night performance at Grizzly Peak Winery on November 16th at 3pm. (1600 E. Nevada Street) Nine performances in all.
What the Critics Said:
“Calarco demonstrates impressive maturity with his lively and insightful dialogue. The play’s sermon against demonizing those with whom we disagree couldn’t be more relevant.” —Variety.
“Joe Calarco’s play is far more than a tale of opposites in close quarters and its comedy does not seek to make an imbecile of either woman. Instead, CRONKITE expertly unspools two very different stories not to pick at where they conflict but instead to lay bare where they closely align.” —Metro Weekly.
“…very funny, thoroughly charming …The play is a ninety-minute treasure chest that keeps revealing new gems of wisdom and humor, right to the end.” —North County Times San Diego.
“…in a time as politically fractious as this, the mere idea of two women sitting and absorbing viewpoints they normally wouldn’t abide counts as revolutionary.” —Washington Post.
Reserved seat sales for “Walter Cronkite Is Dead” are sold out. Please check Paddington Station or Grocery Outlet for remaining tickets. 8 seats are available at the door on the day of the show, first come, first served when the house opens 30 minutes before show time.