by Matthew Barber
directed by Gordon Edelstein
Originally produced at Long Wharf Theatre, New Haven, CT
October 11 to November 5, 2017
About the Premiere Production:
Synopsis: Fireflies is playwright Matthew Barber’s adaptation of the novel Eleanor and Abel by Annette Sanford. This romantic comedy takes place in the summer in a small Texas town where a storm tears a hole in Miss Eleanor Bannister’s roof. As a retired schoolteacher and lifelong spinster, Miss Eleanor is always vigilant of men trying to take advantage of a woman alone. Yet, when charming, irresistible itinerant worker Abel Brown arrives offering to renovate her home, Miss Eleanor finds herself shaken up, unsettled, and wanting something that she never imagined for herself. As their turbulent courtship unfolds, Miss Eleanor struggles to reconcile Abel as opportunistic con man or a last chance at real love.
Artistic Statement: In Fireflies, the playwright gives voice to an older generation who are indeed still foolish enough to fall in love. Fireflies is a story about overcoming judgement and fear in order to create a real human connection. It’s a universal story in that sense—it’s about falling in love but also about letting go of the ideas about yourself that are no longer serving you. Perhaps what makes Fireflies so unique is that, with three of the four actors in their 60s and 70s, it illuminates a generation who are so often ignored by our youth-obsessed culture. To see two people, long since set in their ways, contemplate the possibility of union, is a truly moving and beautiful feat of humanity—and is a story that we believe will resonate with audiences everywhere
Grant Statement: Fireflies features a cast of four, with three of the actors in their 60s or 70s. New plays are rarely written for an older cast, which makes them less well versed in the continual rewrites of a new play in process. Typically, it also takes a longer time for more mature actors to learn their lines. The additional weeks of rehearsal that the Edgerton Foundation grant provides will give our actors more time to study and rehearse the show.