Clamber onto a barstool and lose yourself in the dark, gritty world of 1960s New York City. UNCG Theatre will wind up its season with Lanford Wilson’s “Balm in Gilead.”
“Balm” runs April 21-May 2 in Brown Building Theatre on campus. Showtimes are 7 p.m. on April 21-24 and April 29, and 2 p.m. on May 2.
Tickets are $15 for adults; $12 for non-UNCG students, senior citizens and children; $9 groups of 10 or more and UNCG Alumni Association members; and $7 for UNCG students. Contact the University Box Office at 4-4849 or visit http://boxoffice.uncg.edu.
“Balm,” Wilson’s first full-length play, premiered in 1965 at Ellen Stewart’s Café MaMa off-off Broadway, where people lined up around the block to see it. Wilson, always an innovator, used overlapping dialogue and simultaneous scenes to create the world of a diner in the Upper Broadway neighborhood.
The play focuses on Joe, a cynical drug dealer, and Darlene, a naïve wannabe prostitute from Chicago. The two meet one night in the diner and begin a relationship. While they try to find an escape from their world, both are eventually taken in by it.
“The work itself is innovative with Wilson’s use of language and overlapping dialogue,” says director Bryan Conger, an MFA directing student.
“The space that the play is being done in also allows me, the actors and designers to create an atmosphere that includes the audience. Each audience member will hear and see different things depending on their seats. I really want this play to be a theatrical event that invites the audience into this world of 1965 New York.”
Photo by Bert VanderVeen. Dave May and Cheryl Koski in ‘Balm in Gilead.’