The Bloomington Playwrights Project kicks off its 30th year with Lanford Wilson's Pulitzer Prize winning play Talley's Folly in a production cosponsored by the Jewish Theatre of Bloomington.
George Walker's guest is veteran director Tom Evans. It seems especially poignant that Tom is directing this celebration because it was Jim Leonard, one of his students from Hanover College who founded the BPP
Actually Evans at first hesitated to direct Talley's Folly. "I saw it on Broadway with Judd Hirsch and thought to myself, that's a play I don't want to direct. Then when I was on sabbatical at Hanover College my assistant decided that he'd direct it. So, I thought good, he's doing it so that I won't have to. But then, I saw it and it just changed my mind, so I was very pleased with the Playwrights Project asked me to direct."
Some have called Tally's Folly a sort of Romeo and Juliet chamber play, but Evans says that doesn't give credit to the depth of the divisions that Lanford Wilson has written into his play.
"Sally Tally, played by Emily Goodson, is a young woman, she's in her twenties. Matt Friedman, Lee Parker, is a forty-three year old. She's from a conservative Protestant family and he's liberal and Jewish. There's also geography. Sally is from a small town in Missouri, he's from Saint Louis."
"The play is about his determination and her gradual acceptance of the love that he feels and her own growing understanding of herself. "
"Some call it a Romeo and Juliet chamber piece with a happy ending, but that doesn't do justice to the depth of Wilson."
"Really, I can sum Tally's Folly up in three words. It's a valentine."
September 4-6, Friday and Saturday at 8, Sunday at three; 10-12, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8.
On Thursday the 10th the Jewish Theatre of Bloomington hosts a special community reception and discussion following the performance.