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Love and Loss in the Wilds of Colorado

By Susan Rushton

This week’s offering at the ever-popular San Miguel Playreaders is Annapurna by Sharr White.

Playreaders presents
By Sharr White
Wed, Sep 17 and Thu, Sep 18, 7:30pm
St Paul’s Parish Hall
Cardo 6
Tickets at the door 20 pesos

Written in 2011, before his more famous play The Other Place, Annapurna was most recently re-staged in April of this year in an off-Broadway production by the New Group at The Acorn Theatre in New York. It was described as follows:

“Twenty years ago, Emma walked out on her husband, cowboy-poet Ulysses, in the middle of the night. Now, hearing he is in dire straits, she tracks him down in the wilds of Colorado living in a grungy trailer, working on his magnum opus, hooked to an oxygen tank, and cooking in the buff.”

Once an alcoholic, Ulysses is now terminally ill with lung cancer. After adjusting to her surprise arrival, Ulysses and Emma start to explore their failed relationship and try to come to some understanding of why Emma left, taking their son Sam on that fateful night two decades earlier.

In the course of the play we learn that their son Sam recently discovered a trove of letters his father had written him over the years. He blames his mother for keeping them concealed and has hired a detective to track down his father. Emma therefore believes Sam is on his way to see Ulysses and his arrival is imminent! She has come in advance to try to smooth the way for the encounter.

Annapurna is a delightful play that addresses the major human issues of love and loss in a way that provides a theater experience that is sweet, poignant, and funny. The role of Emma will be played by Marty Fraser; Ulysses by Bill Pearlman, Technical assistance from Don Nieglos. The production is directed by Susan Rushton.

Probably one of the more interesting things about Sharr White is that even though he is a successful playwright he still goes to work each day at a job. For years he has had a parallel career track that he says he appreciates because it has been able to give his family a home and stability. “I was able to provide for my family, and then sort of magically, my writing career started flourishing.”


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