Thursday, November 9, 2017

Vote for Pendragon Theatre’s Patrons’ Pick Production

Election Day may have passed, but there is still an opportunity to exercise your right to vote. This time it isn’t about the Constitutional Convention or corrupt politicians’ pensions, but Pendragon Theatre’s 2018 summer season.

This is the third year that Pendragon has opened its summer season with a play chosen by audience members through a series of free staged readings. This year’s event kicks off November 11 with a free reading of the work of three UK playwrights. The lineup includes scenes from The Effect, Girl in the Machine, and Constellations.

The Effect, by British playwright Lucy Prebble, premiered in London in 2012. The play focuses on two volunteers in a clinical drug trial. When they fall in love, are their emotions driven by the drug or their true feelings?

Scottish playwright Stef Smith’s latest play Girl in the Machine recently premiered at the Edinburgh Traverse Theatre in April 2017 as part of the Edinburgh Science Festival. The dystopian thriller brings into hard focus digital dependence when a “new technology promises a break from the daily grind, but turns everyone’s world upside down.”

Constellations by British playwright Nick Payne premiered in London in 2012 at the Royal Court Theatre. Since that time the play has been performed on Broadway, in Los Angeles, as well as on tour. Through a series of vignettes, two people’s relationship is tracked through time and space as even the slightest change sends them in a new direction. The question asked is “Can one word alter the course of your life?”

The next weekend, November 18, brings the final three choices to the Pendragon stage. The Saturday free reading will highlight scenes from True West by Sam Shepard, Marjorie Prime by Jordan Harrison, and The Love List by Norm Foster.

American playwright Sam Shepard’s 1980 play True West examines the relationship of two estranged brothers. When one brother bullies his way into staying with the other, roles are reversed between family man and drifter as they are forced to cooperate.

Jordan Harrison’s Marjorie Prime was a 2015 Pulitzer Finalist. The American playwright, also known for his work on the Netflix series, Orange is the New Black, creates a world where 85-year-old Marjorie Prime lives in a world of artificial intelligence. Her companion is programmed to retrieve her life story. But what do we want to remember? What would we choose to forget?

Canadian playwright Norm Foster’s 2003 comedy The Love List addresses the search for the perfect woman. When one guy gifts his lonely friend a dating service, they compile a list of what makes the perfect woman. When this ideal female comes to the door, it’s a case of “be careful what you wish for.”

Both Patrons’ Pick weekends are free and open to the public. Each show starts at 7 pm at the Saranac Lake theatre. Attendance is not required to vote. If you wish to participate, but are unable to attend, you can email your Patrons’ Pick vote to Pendragon’s Managing Director Tara Palen at

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Diane Chase is the author of the Adirondack Family Activities guidebook series, Adirondack Family Time. She writes about ways to foster imaginative play through fun-filled events and activities in the Adirondack region.

From her home in Saranac Lake, Diane also writes a weekly family-oriented newspaper column for the Adirondack Daily Enterprise and keeps her own blog Adirondack Family Time. Her writing and photography has appeared in numerous newspapers, magazines, marketing companies and advertising agencies.

She even finds time to assist her husband with Adirondack Expeditions guiding families and young adults in the High Peaks.

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