The Red Nose Alternative opens a two week run of Rebecca Gilman’s compelling play, "Luna Gale", Friday, June 9, at 8:00 PM. Directed by Theater Project founder, Al Miller, the play is a compassionate account of flawed human beings making extraordinarily difficult choices. The Los Angeles Times wrote: “Luna Gale…is a troubling exploration of beaten up characters desperately searching for miracles, from drugs, from God and…from the Department of Human Services, where a social worker tries to heal her own wounds through helping others in distress.
In Gilman’s moving play, Caroline, a social worker with twenty-five years experience, seems to have a typical case to add to the ninety she is already dealing with when she meets Karlie and Peter, nineteen year old parents of the baby, Luna Gale. They are meth addicts accused of neglecting their baby. When Caroline places Luna Gale with Cindy, Karlie’s mother, a family conflict emerges that leads Caroline to make a risky decision that may doom her career and the future of Luna Gale’s parents and grandmother.
Playwright Gilman said she got the idea for the play from an incident in an ER room after she sprained her ankle hiking in Oregon. There were three meth addicts there, one of whom was devouring cheesecake. Another had bandaids on all his fingers. She had researched the effects of meth addiction and had learned about addicts’ craving for sugar and also feeling like bugs were under their skin, leading them to pick the skin off their fingers to get at the bugs. She also said the girl in the ER room was devouring a piece of cheesecake while on the phone talking about her children with a concern that made Gilman think she might be a good mother. The first scene of Luna Gale reveals the effect of this experience on her development of the script.
The cast of seven includes Theater Project veterans Annabella Palopoli and David Bliss playing teenagers Karlie and Peter, and long ago Young Company actor Trevor Bostic is Pastor Paul, an Evangelical Christian minister. Joe Bearor, who recently co-starred in Portland’s DRC production of Venus in Fur, plays Cliff, the director of the city’s social services. Abbie Dufrene, who appeared in last year’s Theater Project production of To Kill a Mockingbird, is Cindy, Karlie’s mother, and Isabelle Murray, Yarmouth High School graduating senior, completes the cast as the teenager, Lourdes.
Luna Gale runs for two weekends, June 9 - 11 and 16 - 18, with performances at 8:00 pm Fridays and Saturdays and 2:00 pm matinees on Sundays. The play includes adult language and deals with adult situations. It is suitable for mature teenagers and adults.