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Preview: Majestic Readers' Theatre Company presents Quality of Life

A note from Mike Aronson from the Majestic Readers' Theatre Company:

Our presentation for November is a stimulating drama by Jane Anderson, The Quality of Life. The title of this dramatic comedy directed by John Sams, pretty much sums up the play's fundamental examination.

Neil (Don Taco) is in the end stages of a losing fight with cancer, and he has decided to take control over his own departure. His beloved Jeannette (Debbie Wright) does not want to play the role of the traditional grieving partner, so she has made some plans too. Both are approaching their shared change with a calm that looks disturbing to Jeannette's cousin Dinah (Kim Fairbairn) and her straitlaced husband Bill (Ward Fairbairn). This is an issue because Bill and Dinah, are grieving the recent loss of their daughter. We observe their arguments surrounding how to deal with it, but through the anger, the fears, and awful questions that are so articulately and passionately expressed we feel a new appreciation of how to express sorrow.

The Majestic is hosting plays this year dealing with realistic topics not often viewed on stage. Last month, MRTC performed Stop Kiss, a story about a violent crime against a lesbian couple. Last Sunday Ruth Mandsager’s closed her show Next to Normal, a musical about how mental illness can tear a family apart. Our November show invites an aging generation to consider their mortality.

This is heavy stuff.

I’m looking forward to seeing this show because of the quality of the actors John cast. All of them are theater veterans. Debbie Wright has a string of credits from Shana Maidel to Distracted. Kim Fairbairn played the prosecuting attorney last April in 9 Circles. Her husband Ward followed a month later with a role in Kingdom City. Don Taco has more credits than can be listed on the front page of the Albany Democrat-Herald. For MRTC he has directed Sea Marks, Terra Nova, Foxfire and others plus will direct Strange Snow in January. He was also a riot playing Philip Henslowe in the April 2018 production of Shakespeare in Love.

It may seem contrived that Bill and Dinah’s born-again Midwestern values are frequently rubbing against Jeanette and Neil’s practical humanism. But even so, this play is a compassionate piece of writing that suggests that Americans of different value systems can find common ground if they listen to what worries the other. That's a useful thing to consider as we struggle through another combative election season.

Performances are Saturday, November 23th at 3 PM and two Sunday performances November 24th at 3 PM and 7 PM in the Community Room of the Majestic Theatre. Tickets are available at the Majestic Box office Wednesday through Friday from Noon until 5 PM. Prices are 11 and 13 dollars.

You can also purchase tickets on the web at A $2.00 processing fee will be added to all tickets purchased online. If you want to avoid this, purchase tickets at the Majestic Box Office in person or by phone 541-738-7469.



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