Force comes in all its forms, with Stained Glass Theater ‘s latest production, “Related Spaces,” scheduled to air on October 21.
The play features protagonist Renee, a strong, independent woman who is also missing something in her tough lifestyle. As she moves to a small town in New England and begins the restoration of her historic Stargazers theater, she discovers that God has His own restoration plans for her.
With the production being part of the theater’s ‘Healing Season’, show co-director Roger Martin said there are multiple forms of healing in the play that develop through a love story.
“It’s a love story between a man and a woman, but also about Renée trying to fight her inner self,” Martin said. “In the process, she falls in love with the city.”
The framework for “Related Spaces” dates back to writer Shellie R. Foltz’s upbringing in the Ozarks, including a group of supportive church ladies who step into Renee’s life and introduce her to the strong women of the Bible. Will Pearson, a widowed father of a 15-year-old daughter, heads the town’s preservation society and gives Renee the bad news that her loft walls have to fall – causing some of her walls to fall. in the process.
“The title refers to the walls we put up between ourselves and other spaces and tear down those walls to enhance the beauty of life,” Martin said. “The walls are crumbling in his heart too.”
The audition process brought some surprises to Martin and co-director Rhonda Myers.
Choosing Cindy Gearhart to play Renee, a single woman in her thirties, Martin said that Gearhart’s experience as a mother gives the character strength, even though their life experiences are different.
“Renee is that woman who’s always been lonely, and we throw her into a bunch of people and see how she reacts, when (Gearhart) has a family around her,” he said. “She does a fantastic job.”
The casting of Joey Wyss, who plays Will Pearson, and Amiyah Fitzsimmons, who plays his daughter, Mallory, was a kind of divine intervention. During auditions, Wyss and Fitzsimmons automatically matched their roles and seemed like they could relate – Martin knew when each person walked into the ‘that’s the character’ room.
“Sometimes at an audition a person plays a role so well that they’re the only person you see in that role – they fit that bill,” he said. “You can look at them and say ‘gosh, they look like a father and a daughter.’ This is usually not the case.
The play is about breaking up our past and wanting to go our own way without looking at the opportunities available to us. Through Renee and Will’s relationship, and their relationship with the city, they experience healing so they can move forward as happier, healthier people. Meanwhile, the audience wants them to end up together.
In a particularly tender moment, Will tells Mallory about the strong women of the Bible and points to his late wife as an example of that strength. Their conversations allow Renee to see “you don’t have to give up your own strength for a relationship with God,” Martin said.
“I hope the public will see that just because you want to be your own boss doesn’t mean you can’t have a strong relationship with God,” he said. “We are stronger with Him than without Him. “
The Stained Glass Theater, located at 830 E. High St., will present “Related Spaces” at 7:30 pm on October 21-22 and October 28-29. There will also be morning screenings at 2 p.m. on October 23 and 30.
Tickets are $ 7 on opening night and $ 10 for all other shows; they can be reserved at www.sgtmid mo.org/reservations.