Curve of Departure
by Rachel Bonds
directed by Mike Donahue
Originally produced at South Coast Repertory, Costa Mesa, CA
September 24 to October 15, 2017
About the Premiere Production:
Synopsis: Curve of Departure takes place in a cramped hotel room in New Mexico, where a “ragtag little group of humans” gathers in anticipation of the funeral of a man named Cyrus. We first meet Cyrus's father, Rudy, and ex-wife, Linda. Although Linda is long divorced from Cyrus, she and Rudy continue to have a special bond that is now being tested by Rudy’s gradual decline into dementia. They are joined in the room by Cyrus’s son, Felix, and Felix’s boyfriend, Jackson, who have flown in from Los Angeles. While their relationship is relatively new, Felix and Jackson seem to be headed toward a long-term commitment, if the arrival into their lives of a girl named Yara doesn’t completely tear them apart. Yara, Jackson’s niece, needs to be rescued from a toxic life, and Jackson is ready to become her adoptive father, but Felix fears that possibility. Linda, Rudy and Felix steel themselves for the funeral of a man that they may have loved but none of them liked very much – but the dearly departed is the least of their concerns as they all grapple with the curves life has thrown them. Although full of yearning and uncertainty, the play also abounds with humor and heart as it quietly and delicately delineates its story of life going on.
Artistic Statement: The extra week of rehearsal afforded by the Edgerton Grant will allow director and playwright to continue the process of textual refinement with the collaboration of all the actors and designers who will bring the production to life.
Grant Statement: "This will mark SCR’s second production of a play by Rachel Bonds, after our 2014 world premiere of Five Mile Lake. Shortly before that production opened, we commissioned Bonds to write a new play for SCR, and Curve of Departure is the result of that commission. Like her previous plays, this one is marked by nuanced characters, beautifully crafted dialogue undergirded by rich subtext, and an attention to ordinary lives that – like all ordinary lives – meet with challenges that can only be overcome by a kind of everyday heroism. At a time when our country has never been more divided over its core values, Curve of Departure quietly argues for compassion, tolerance and the essential humanness of the helping hand – while also acknowledging that the heart is complex and sometimes at odds with itself, even over something as basic as love."
Dramaturg: John Glore