Special to the Tribune-Star
Community Theatre of Terre Haute will present “Talley’s Folly” in the Oakley Theatre, the smaller setting at 1431 S. 25th St. The theater holds 75 people, with seating ringing three sides of the thrust stage. Opening night is Friday, followed by performances on Saturday and Sunday. Bill Carper, a board member and veteran actor and director, is directing the play.
Written in 1979 by Lanford Wilson, “Talley’s Folly” is a two-person play set in 1944 in an old boathouse near Lebanon, Mo., on the Talley estate. Matt Friedman (Steven Fivecoat) has come to call on Sally Talley (Lesli Marnewick) on the Fourth of July. Her family doesn’t approve of him because he is Jewish, and Sally also discourages Matt’s feelings for her because of a secret she holds. A witty storyteller, Friedman does his best to help her understand why they would be perfect for each other. The unlikely couple had met the previous summer, and Friedman has diligently written to her each day even though she has responded only once.
Wilson won the 1980 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for “Talley’s Folly” and also received a Tony nomination. Born and raised in Missouri, he has a keen eye for detail as the characters describe that town as well as Springfield and St. Louis. “Talley’s Folly” was first performed at the Circle Repertory Company in New York City, with television star Judd Hirsch playing Friedman. The play is actually the second of a trilogy, flanked by “Talley & Son” and “Fifth of July.”
The audience will enter the Oakley Theatre through a flower-covered arch, truly feeling like they’re entering the riverside area where the dilapidated boathouse resides. Friedman opens the play speaking directly to the audience, describing the Victorian boathouse and explaining that they will see and hear his story in the next 97 minutes. The play is just one act with no intermission.
Tickets are $7 each. Ticket office hours are 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday through Friday and one hour before each performance. Friday and Saturday performances begin at 8 p.m. with the Sunday matinee starting at 2:30. Call 812-232-7172 or visit ctth.org for more information.