Merrimack Repertory Theatre (MRT) will present Audrey Cefaly’s Maytag Virgin, a sweet, Southern romance about starting over again, from January 8 to February 2 at the Nancy L. Donahue Theatre at Liberty Hall in Lowell, according to Executive Director Bonnie J. Butkas and Interim Artistic Director Terry Berliner. Eleanor Holdridge directs.
“At the start of Audrey Cefaly’s Maytag Virgin the potential of love seems lost,” said Interim Artistic Director Terry Berliner. “Then, with the most delicate touch, it creeps in through the cracks like a tiny stream of water through the rocks, or a sliver of light in a pitch-black cave.”
When unflappable Jack moves in next door to sweetly neurotic Lizzy—two fortysomething school teachers, both widowed—the two bond over being lonely and feeling stuck. As they get to know each other, they find themselves searching for an answer to the same question: how do you know when you’re ready to live, and love, again?
“I’m convinced that if sin exists, it’s the idea that a human being might recognize the virtue in another . . . and remain silen,” said playwright Audrey Cefaly. “A single, random word of kindness might make the difference in life or death. I know this may sound silly, but that’s kind of what Maytag is. It’s a hug. It’s a way of saying, I see you’re broken, but look, so am I.”
Cefaly will give a pre-show talk at 7 p.m. before the opening night performance, which is at 8 p.m. on Saturday, January 11. Her plays include Alabaster, playing at 11 theatres across the country this season; The Gulf; and The Last Wide Open. She has recieved national playwriting awards from Lambda Literary, the Edgerton Foundation, and the David Calicchio Emerging American Playwright Prize. She is an outspoken proponent of silence in storytelling.
Director Holdridge’s credits include the Off-Broadway premieres of Selma ’65 at La Mama, Steve & Idi at Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre, and Cycling Past the Matterhorn at Clurman Theatre. Her regional world premieres include Lauren Gunderson’s The Revolutionists at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park and Meg Miroshnik’s adaptation of Marivaux’s FICKLE: A Fancy French Farce at Olney Theatre Center.
The cast features David Adkins as Jack and Kati Brazda as Lizzy. Adkin’s MRT credits include The Outgoing Tide, The Seafarer (IRNE Award nomination), and Glengarry Glen Ross. He most recently appeared in Edward Albee’s The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia? at Berkshire Theatre Group and on the television shows “Evil” and “Madame Secretary.” Brazda’s credits include A Moon for the Misbegotten on Broadway, as well as the Off-Broadway productions of The Effect and Our Town at Barrow Street Theatre and Bill W. and Dr. Bob at SoHo Playhouse.
In addition to Holdridge, the creative team includes Kris Stone (Second Stage Theatre, Playwrights Horizons in NYC) as scenic designer; Charlene Alexis Gross as Costume Designer; Karen Perlow (Native Gardens and The Royale at MRT); and Scott Stauffer (A Free Man of Color, Contact, Marie Christine) as Sound Designer. Becca Freifeld serves as production stage manager.
Single tickets range from $24 to $66. Subscriptions for four plays start at $87, with student subscriptions at $40. To purchase, visit www.mrt.org or contact the MRT Box Office at 978-654-4678.