Other Desert Cities
Sunday, February 19th and
Monday, February 20th, 7-9 pm
Snow Date: Tuesday February 21st, 7-9 pm
Information Night: Saturday February 4th, 6:30 pm
Show Dates: May 5th, 6th & 7th
What is the cost of telling the truth?
The play occurs on Christmas Eve, 2004, when the Wyeth family gather in Palm Springs, California.
Years before, in the 70’s, Henry, the eldest son of this wealthy Republican family, was involved in the deadly bombing of an army draft center, after which his remorse led him to suicide.
Now, in 2004 in Palm Springs, the eldest daughter and once-promising novelist, Brooke, is home for Christmas, bearing the manuscript of her memoir of those events which exposes the personal lives of this very private family.
Parents Polly and Lyman were highly regarded in old Hollywood circles, and admired by Republicans for their service to the party and their friendship with Ronald and Nancy Reagan.
Polly’s sister Silda is visiting after a stint in alcohol rehab. Their youngest, son Trip, the creator of a hit TV courtroom reality series, is also back, and just tries to stay out of the crossfire.
What fragile underpinnings remain in this very dysfunctional family are shattered by the revelations of the book, scheduled for publication in a couple of months. The daughter’s arguments for and the parent’s arguments against publication shred the family’s Christmas Eve, and threaten its very survival.
Brooke’s persistence for her version of the truth and the ensuing arguments gradually reveal all the secrets in the family, ending in a totally unexpected revelation as the Wyeths sift through conflicting memories of the past and face serious choices about how to go forward.
This funny and searing play by the writer of TV’s The West Wing and Alias, and creator and writer of Brothers & Sisters, is filled with clever exchanges among family members who know exactly how to push one another’s buttons.
Originally titled Love and Money, the play started at Lincoln Center, then transferred to Broadway for a substantial seven month run. The play has been produced at a number of regional theatres around the country over the past few years. There had been over 20 productions of the show by 2014 including Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Denver and Washington, DC. It was the 4th most produced play in the US in the 2013/2014 season. It garnered five Tony Nominations, an Outer Critics Circle Award for best new Off-Broadway Play, and was a 2012 Pulitzer Prize finalist.
If you crave a smartly written new American play, Other Desert Cities is the ideal choice and provides a superb ride for actors and audiences alike, as it will be for this director!
Cast of Characters
Brooke Wyeth: Now 40’s, she was very shaken by her older brother’s suicide, had a breakdown and is still on medication. While she wants her parents’ approval for her new memoir, she also wants it published regardless.
Polly Wyeth: Now 65-70, she is the strong and controlling matriarch of the family, elegant, outspoken, and very smart.
Lyman Wyeth: Now 65-70, was a Hollywood actor turned politician, more tactful than Polly, diplomatic.
Silda Grauman: Polly’s slightly younger sister, and they have a loving but volatile relationship, and she secretly helped Brooke develop her manuscript.
Trip Wyeth: Now 30’s, a bright and funny man who doesn’t remember his older brother’s suicide but was affected by the fallout. He can see all sides and tries to be a peacemaker.
Those who audition will be reading sides from the script.
Please bring your calendar to auditions to inform us of any conflicts you have during the rehearsal period.
Questions: Call or email Wayland at (603) 668-5466 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
These are open auditions – racial, ethnic and non-traditional casting will be considered.