Three Plays Explore Prejudice, History And Family In 'Shadows'

By: Jennifer Sexton-Riley

Bob Costa and Emily Nyerick in "Max's Number," one of three short plays being produced at the Unitarian Universalist Meeting House in Chatham. COURTESY PHOTO


Injustices of the past cast long shadows which color the present. On Jan. 19, 20 and 21 three plays by award-winning local playwright Candace Perry, collectively titled “Shadows,” will address the long-reaching effects of slavery, the Holocaust and other instances of injustice, prejudice and racism. The productions will take place at the Chatham Unitarian Universalist Meeting House, at 7:30 p.m. and will be followed by a Meeting House dialogue with Rev. Edmund Robinson.
“I'm very excited to have 'Shadows' performed here in Chatham,” Perry said. “I tend to explore issues involving social justice in my plays, with the goal of engaging with the community, entertaining them, and making a difference.”
The idea of producing “Shadows” at the UUMH came about in September when Rev. Robinson was encouraged to attend one of a series of sold-out performances of six of Perry's short plays at the Wellfleet Preservation Hall. The Chatham performances were pared down to three plays rather than six, in order to allow time for a dialogue afterwards.
The first play, “A Thing of Beauty,” tells the story of a restored Louisiana plantation, a mom and daughter touring the grounds with a wedding in mind, exploring the clash between the beauty and romance of their plans and the history of the place, including the lives of enslaved people and their revolt.
“Sticks and Stones” is the second play, in which chef Billy Traynor turns his popular cookbook, “White Trash Cooking,” into a television show and growing fame. The juxtaposition between a posh New York City office and the trailer home of Billy's granny in Mississippi teaches Billy something about the painful power of words.
In the final play, “Max's Number,” a Holocaust survivor tries to explain his gambling problem and his repeated playing of a certain number to his granddaughter as she prepares for her wedding.
All three plays are directed by Bob Costa, who has also directed previous collections of Perry's plays. The actors in “Shadows” include many well known Cape faces: Sallie Tighe, Cynthia Harrington, Racine Oxtoby, Brian Carlson, Karen McPherson, John Dennis Anderson, Emily Nyerick and Bob Costas, with June Douglas-White acting as emcee.
Perry is the author of over 40 short plays which have been produced across the United States and in Ireland. Her work has been produced by the International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival, Boston Theatre Marathons, the Provincetown Theater, the Chatham Drama Guild, the New Orleans Tennessee Williams Festival and the Heartland Theater Company in Normal, Ill. She won the 2007 Eventide/Cape Cod Playwrights Kaplan Award and was selected by the Provincetown Theater in 2014 to receive a commission to write a full length play for the Four Squared Theatre Project, a Cape initiative for new plays. The commissioned play, “Along the River Road,” has had readings across the Cape, from Provincetown to Woods Hole.
Tickets to “Shadows” are available for a $10 suggested donation at the door or in advance by calling the Meeting House at 508-945-2075. This production is made possible with a grant from the Wequasset Resort and Golf Club.


“Shadows,” Three plays by Candace Perry

At the UU Meeting House, 819 Main St., Chatham

Jan. 19, 20 and 21, 7:30 p.m.

Information and tickets: 508-945-2075