When times are uncertain and the daily cable TV news just seems to go from bad to worse, doesn’t the company of a friend sound comforting?
In the Cape Cod Theatre Company/Harwich Junior Theatre’s latest offering, a 10-minute play titled “Just Give Me a Minute,” two friends contemplate the “Golden Girls option.” Instead of living their lives separately and facing the future on their own, why not pool their resources and live out their golden years together? It certainly makes sense financially. They could split the daily chores, and they get along with each other most of the time. And anyway, if they always agreed, wouldn’t that be terribly dull?
Playwright Sue Kosoff was inspired to write the play by her friendship, long walks and conversations with Jane Staab, who stars in the play along with actress Carryl Lynne. The play was included in Boston Playwrights’ Theatre’s Ten Minute Play Marathon in Boston last year.
CCTC/HJT’s Acting Artistic Director Nina Schuessler related to the play and is enthusiastic about this first effort by CCTC/HJT to present live theater via the Zoom platform.
“We’ve done cabarets and monologues, but this is the first actual play,” Schuessler said. “I think 10-minute plays are perfect for the social media world we’re living in right now. We experimented quite a bit. We even tried making it look like they were sitting across from each other in the same room, and eventually we ended up with both characters facing the camera. Technologically it was a challenge, but our tech director Matt Kohler made it much easier than it could have been.”
Schuessler said she can relate to the feeling the characters describe of moments when you forget what you are doing or your train of thought, and you have to just laugh it off. Especially during the long days of staying mostly at home during the pandemic, the days can sometimes blur into what feels like one long day, and you can lose track of what you’re doing from one minute to the next.
“It’s something we all experience at one time or another,” Schuessler said. “I could also relate to how rational the idea sounds for two older women who are friends to move in together and join forces financially, to have someone there in case one should fall, become sick, or need help in some way. On the other hand, when you live alone you get used to it. Maybe you like where you’re living now, you don’t know if your cats will get along, and you really cherish your alone time. Even a friend can sometimes seem intrusive. I think many of us can relate to the fact that something can make sense, but you can still be of two minds about making a change.”
Playwright Kosoff was one of the founders of CCTC/HJT’s sister theater, Wheelock Family Theatre in Boston, an award-winning educational theater well known for creating and expanding access to the arts. She grew up at HJT with Staab, and moved back to her Cape Cod roots upon retiring. Lynne too moved back to her roots after a career in Los Angeles as a TV and film actress.
“Jane wrote in her bio that she’s been worked with HJT for 60 years,” Schuessler said. “They all came back to their roots after they retired, and of course I’ve been here the whole time. I’m thrilled to be working together to bring this play about friendship into everyone’s homes via Zoom as CCTC/HJT moves into its 70th year.”
“Just Give Me a Minute” debuted on CCTC/HJT’s Facebook page on Thursday, Sept. 17 at 7 p.m. and is now accessible at any time by visiting the facebook.com/jester51 and clicking on the play’s post.
In addition to “Just Give Me a Minute,” CCTC/HJT is going back to the golden age of radio dramas with Cape Noir Radio Theatre on WOMR every Thursday evening at 8:30 p.m. J Hagenbuckle’s 30-minute mysteries featuring his own performance as Frank Brand along with Schuessler as Ginger Welles portray the pair taking on corrupt politicians, dirty cops and a host of unsavory characters in classic noir style. CCTC/HJT is also offering a variety of classes, including virtual, hybrid or in-person options. Visit capecodtheatrecompany.org/education for a complete listing.
“Just Give Me a Minute”
Available to stream