THIS LIME TREE BOWER: David Mavricos Talks About the Importance of Storytelling

IMG_6678This Lime Tree Bower speaks to me about the importance of storytelling. In the course of the narrative, Joe brings up the story of the sunken boat off the shore, and how it has some sordid history involving the IRA, love, and gun trafficking… Or maybe it was that old fisherman, who sank it while he was drunk. Frank mentions never tiring of his father’s stories that just keep getting more and more exaggerated. This Lime Tree Bower lets its characters tell their stories, to the audience and to each other, and who knows what new details are added in each retelling. To me, that is the point of the drama, to remind us that these are our stories, that they are important to tell, and that there is always something new to be learned.

Working with this text is a challenge because it is not written as a traditional drama. Why did McPherson choose to have his characters tell the story rather than live it onstage? This is a question I’ve struggled with during this process, but I think it has to do with the fact that these three men are inexorably changed by the events they recount, and, more importantly, by the retelling. Joe reveals intimate details that Frank has never heard before, and what does that mean for their relationship as brothers? How much does Frank put on a show for Ray and Joe when he recounts the robbery? How much is he pretending to be something for his brother that he is not truly? It is the ‘little exaggerations’ that make our stories live in the present to those who did not live them in the past. And in those exaggerations and new revelations live kernels of truth; and sometimes truths that would otherwise be too painful to express.

The joy of this production is to live in those moments and discover new ideas with each retelling. The characters are telling their stories, but we as actors are as well. In the theatre we talk about the beauty of live performance being that it’s different every night. We as actors and as characters hear and react to new and different stimuli every performance. And this production in particular is about those moments of hearing something new for the first time, discovering something new about your brother, or your friend, even though you may have heard the same story a hundred times. Because, despite the retellings, we never get tired of hearing them.


THIS LIME TREE BOWER was first produced at the Crypt Arts Centre, Dublin, on September 26, 1995, an Íomhá Ildánach/Fly by Night co-production. The play was subsequently performed at the Bush Theatre, London, from July 3, 1996. It was originally produced in the United States by Primary Stages Company, Casey Childs, Artistic Director, on May 5, 1999.


Our mission at Quotidian Theatre Company is to find truth and beauty in the everyday, presenting plays in an understated, impressionistic style. We are proud to be the Resident Theater Company at our performance space, The Writer’s Center in Bethesda.

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THIS LIME TREE BOWER – A Director’s Vision

lime-tree-postcard-front_smBy the time Conor McPherson had earned his MA in Philosophy (Ethics) at University College Dublin in 1993, he had already written several plays, many staged by the Fly By Night Theatre Company he formed with friends. By 1995, with several local stage successes, McPherson opened This Lime Tree Bower at Dublin’s Crypt Arts Centre, a work which earned both the Meyer-Witworth Award and the George Devine Award for Best New Play. By 1996 Lime Tree moved to the Bush Theatre, London, where it garnered the Thames TV Award and the Guinness/National Theatre Ingenuity Award. The successes of Lime Tree and later St. Nicholas at the Bush led to The Weir at London’s Royal Court Theatre, and before long, success throughout the theatre world.

Those familiar with the plays of Conor McPherson are well aware of the playwright’s interest in ethics. This Lime Tree Bower is shot through with details of the three characters who relate the decisions they made during a strange week at a chipper in a northern suburb of Dublin. What is ethical behavior? Is it what suits the individual or society? This play provides a great deal of information about the choices made by these characters, and I suspect that audience members will quickly arrive at conclusions regarding the decency of each, although the consideration of what the characters could have or should have done will prove to be much more difficult.

Although This Lime Tree Bower is clearly in the tradition of Brien Friel’s Faith Healer and McPherson’s later masterpiece Port Authority, it is unique in that the alternating monologues are enhanced by the fact that the three characters are present and aware of each other throughout the play. This subtle interaction facilitates the audience’s understanding of the moral philosophy of each character.

We are proud to have presented eight plays by Conor McPherson, including three DC Area Premieres (Dublin Carol, Port Authority, The Birds), and a USA Premiere (The Veil). We will make every effort to continue staging McPherson’s work at Quotidian.

–Jack Sbarbori
Artistic Director


THIS LIME TREE BOWER was first produced at the Crypt Arts Centre, Dublin, on September 26, 1995, an Íomhá Ildánach/Fly by Night co-production. The play was subsequently performed at the Bush Theatre, London, from July 3, 1996. It was originally produced in the United States by Primary Stages Company, Casey Childs, Artistic Director, on May 5, 1999.


 

Our mission at Quotidian Theatre Company is to find truth and beauty in the everyday, presenting plays in an understated, impressionistic style. We are proud to be the Resident Theater Company at our performance space, The Writer’s Center in Bethesda.

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Quotidian Theatre Company Presents Conor McPherson’s Darkly Comic Masterpiece, THIS LIME TREE BOWER

Chris Stinson (Joe Beneventi) is delighted to return to the Quotidian stage appearing in 2013's The Iceman Cometh as "Don Parritt”.

Chris Stinson (Joe Beneventi) is delighted to return to the Quotidian stage appearing in 2013’s The Iceman Cometh as “Don Parritt”.

Quotidian Theatre Company returns to the world of playwright Conor McPherson in one of his early masterpieces, This Lime Tree Bower.

This play continues Quotidian’s long relationship with the author, and marks the eighth McPherson play Quotidian has produced, including three DC area premiers (Dublin CarolPort Authority, and The Birds), and the US premiere of The Veil.

Michael Avolio (Ray Sullivan) returns to QTC, where he directed Hedda Gabler and The Iceman Cometh and acted in The Veil, Shining City, The Cherry Orchard, and others.

Michael Avolio (Ray Sullivan) returns to QTC, where he directed Hedda Gabler and The Iceman Cometh and acted in The Veil, Shining City, The Cherry Orchard, and others.

The play, through interwoven monologues, is an account of coming of age in small town Ireland, told by three young men. The central characters are Joe (Chris Stinson), the youngest, who is bored with school and looking for adventure; his brother Frank (David Mavricos) who is working full-time in the family chipper and hatches “his great plan” to solve all the family’s troubles, and; their friend Ray (Michael Avolio) the debauched university lecturer who is dating their sister Carmel.

David Mavricos (Frank Beneventi) is delighted to be working with Quotidian Theatre for the first time.

David Mavricos (Frank Beneventi) is delighted to be working with Quotidian Theatre for the first time.

Director Jack Sbarbori says that the play is full of moral ambiguity. “What is ethical behavior? Is it what suits the individual or society? This play provides a great deal of information about the choices made by these characters, and I suspect that audience members will quickly arrive at conclusions regarding the decency of each, although the consideration of what the characters could have or should have done will prove to be much more difficult.”

This Lime Tree Bower opens July 10 at the Writers’ Center in Bethesda, MD, and runs weekends through August 9, with Friday and Saturday evening performances at 8:00 p.m., and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. PLEASE NOTE: There will be no performance on Friday, August 7, and an extra matinee will be performed on Saturday, August 8, at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are available at Brown Paper Tickets (http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/1670671) or by calling the Quotidian Theatre Company box office at 301-816-1023.


Our mission at Quotidian Theatre Company is to find truth and beauty in the everyday, presenting plays in an understated, impressionistic style. We are proud to be the Resident Theater Company at our performance space, The Writer’s Center in Bethesda.

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THIS LIME TREE BOWER: Chris Stinson Returns to Quotidian, Plays Teenager Joe

1-220628_origIt’s great to be back with Quotidian Theatre since my debut with them in 2013’s The Iceman Cometh. The first time, I was playing a young man seeking sanctuary from his sins in a seedy New York bar. This production finds my teenage character sharing deep personal stories with the audience inside his family’s Irish chipper.

My character Joe is an intuitive, but socially naïve 17 year-old clad in his school sweater and tie; a dress code I was very familiar with back in my own Catholic high school days. He starts off the show sharing his infatuation with the arrival of a new boy in his school: Damien. Damien is a classic bad boy who is free in all the ways Joe is not. Damien drinks, smokes, mouths off to adults and he gets all the girls. The two form an unlikely friendship, and the journey Joe takes with Damien becomes my character’s entry into the play’s larger discussion of morality and ethics.

Each of the men in the show deal with some sort of moral crisis, or are ambivalent to their own immorality. Whether it be risking life and limb for family, remaining faithful to the ones you love or daring to define your true purpose, they ultimately must answer the question: Should I…or shouldn’t I? You may not agree with everything these boys do, but Conor McPherson’s writing provides brutally honest portrayals of men at different stages in their lives, each with different codes of right and wrong.

My previous Irish production was The Lieutenant of Inishmore at Constellation Theatre; a show that relied on hilarious and bloody banter among an ensemble of wacky characters. With almost no verbal onstage interaction between us, This Lime Tree Bower asks the actors to rely solely on McPherson’s colorful and revealing monologues. When you put the monologues of the three characters together, it provides multiple story lines that creates a nice narrative tapestry for the audience to see weave itself together.

What I like about Quotidian, is that they go out of their way to dig up and produce theatrical gems that many audiences haven’t been exposed to before. While McPherson may have made his name with plays like The Weir and Shining City, The Lime Tree Bower offers an early look into his signature style.

I look forward to having people come inside The Writer’s Center and beat the summer heat.

There will be three lads sitting in their seaside chipper ready to tell you some amazing stories.


THIS LIME TREE BOWER is shot through with details of the three characters who relate the decisions they made during a strange week at a chipper in a northern suburb of Dublin. What is ethical behavior? Is it what suits the individual or society? Come find out as THIS LIME TREE BOWER plays at the Quotidian Theatre Company, July 10 – August 9, 2015 at The Writer’s Center. Tickets available at Brown Paper Tickets.

Our mission at Quotidian Theatre Company is to find truth and beauty in the everyday, presenting plays in an understated, impressionistic style. We are proud to be the Resident Theater Company at our performance space, The Writer’s Center in Bethesda.

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MTO Kombucha Tasting Event at QTC on Mother’s Day, 10 May, at 2pm Matinee of LETTICE AND LOVAGE

11060021_934000009954275_5470115293332403187_oWhile Lettice drinks “lovage” to celebrate life’s special moments, Made To Order (MTO) Kombucha improves the quality of your life in a more quotidian fashion. Please join us on 10 May at the Writer’s Center at 4508 Walsh St in Bethesda, MD 20814 for a special MTO Kombucha Tasting Event. MTO Kombucha creator Ralph Crafts and his new wife, QTC actress Bobbie (Scheide) Crafts, will be on hand to tell you more about the extraordinary curative powers of Ralph’s unique product and his own touching personal history concerning its creation. A variety of samples will be available in QTC’s lobby before and after the 2pm matinee of Lettice and Lovage.

craftsKombucha is a sweetened black tea into which a Kombucha culture, called a SCOBY (Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast) is added. Known as “the elixir of long life,” Kombucha’s origins and benefits trace back 2,000 years to ancient China. From there, it found its way across Russia, becoming widely established as an effective folk medicine in rural communities. The drink received international exposure when Soviet doctors discovered entire communities appeared to have been protected from dangerous environmental pollution by a nutritious drink. In recent years, Kombucha has become popular in the United States for helping people with a wide variety of health conditions, from digestive disorders, skin problems, high cholesterol and poorly functioning immune systems as well as people in good health with goals for improved athletic performance, better sleep and higher energy levels.

Join us for this unique experience!

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Five Star Review of LETTICE AND LOVAGE from DC Metro Theatre Arts!

11060021_934000009954275_5470115293332403187_oDC Metro Theatre Arts gives this “valentine to the English language” a full five stars!

 

 

 


 

Lettice Douffet, an expert on Elizabethan cuisine and medieval weaponry, is an indefatigable but daffy enthusiast of history and the theatre.  As a tour guide at Fustian House, one of the least stately of London’s stately homes, she theatrically embellishes its historical past, ultimately coming up on the radar of Lotte Schoen, an inspector from the Preservation Trust.  Neither impressed or entertained by Lettice’s freewheeling history lessons, Schoen fires her.  Not one however, to go without a fight, Lettice engages the stoic, conventional Lotte in battle to the death of all that is sacred to the Empire and the crown.  This hit by the author of Equus and Amadeus featured a triumphant award-winning performance by Dame Maggie Smith in London and on Broadway
Our production features Jane Squier Bruns as Lettice Douffet, Leah Mazade as Lotte Schoen, John Decker as Mr. Bardolph, Elizabeth Darby as Miss Framer, with David Johnson and Ruthie Rado.
Directed by Louis Pangaro. Tickets available today!
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Quotidian Theatre is Having a Props and Costumes Sale!

Have you ever wanted to own costumes, props,
or set pieces seen on QTC’s stage?

Limited time only!
April 17 – May 17, 2015

qtc01Now is your chance! During the run of Lettice and Lovage, QTC will be selling items from its recent productions of The Veil, Hedda Gabler, and Lettice and Lovage at below cost prices. Most of the items will be available for viewing and purchase in the theater lobby or on stage. (However, if you want to buy something used in the current show, you will have to wait until the end of the run to take it home.) You may also view our sales inventory with details and descriptions of each item on-line at http://www.32auctions.com/QTCprops

In keeping with our old-fashioned charm, QTC is only able to accept cash or checks payable to the Quotidian Theatre Company for any items purchased. Smaller items may be purchased via the mail, as well. Just send QTC a check (please add delivery charge) and we will mail your purchase to your address. Or, call 301-8160-1023 or email quotidiantheatre@comcast.net and we will make arrangements with you for pick-up.

Please take a look and consider supporting QTC by taking home a treasure from one of our shows!

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