From now through July 18, the Ojai Art Center is presenting “Family Furniture” by A. R. Gurney.
Entertainment Weekly called the show “… an old-fashioned, 1950s-set gin-on-the-rocks drama … a pure delight.” The plotline features brother and sister Nick and Peggy who cope with their mother’s possible infidelity, their father’s apathy and their own complicated love lives.
“Family Furniture” runs Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. through July 18, with no show on the Fourth of July. Tickets are $20 for general admission, $18 for seniors and Art Center members and $10 for those under 25.
For more information, go to ojaiact.org or call 805-640-8797.
The center dealt with the challenges of putting on a show with five cast members, rather than only one, while COVID-19 restrictions still loomed. However, the cast and crew of “Family Furniture” rose to the challenge.
“We started rehearsals wearing masks, but after a while got comfortable without them,” Stage Manager Christina Colombo said in a news release. “We’re all healthy and look forward to opening this Friday.”
Buddy Wilds, who plays the father, Russell, said, “I feel very comfortable with my cast because everyone has been vaccinated.”
Ashley Osler, who plays the mother, Claire, referred to the theater as a “life-affirming experience.”
“Though it feels daunting to perform while COVID remains active, it’s personally a great experience to shift out of this past year’s energy,” Ms. Osler said. “As theaters reopen, I hope performers and audiences alike stay home if they don’t feel a hundred percent … so the doors can stay open.”
“I’m more than ready to be part of it,” said Bill Spellman, the show’s producer. “I missed performing or even attending live theater for the last year and a half. Zoom performing is not very satisfying since there’s no live audience.”
Amber Shea Hodge, who plays Nick’s girlfriend, Betsy, said, “Quarantine left us to be creative with how we approach our theater experience. We put on Zoom performances, pre-recorded shows and outdoor theater so everyone still had entertainment. I believe we now know we can still create together through globally tough times.”