UPPER JAY — The Recovery Lounge interrupts February’s squalls with a dose of comedy with Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright David Lindsay-Abaire’s “Ripcord.”
The laughs begin Feb. 22 with the cast of Susy Doolittle, Joy McCabe, Dylan Duffy, Emily Eisman, Tim Sorrell and Scott Renderer, who is also the director and set designer.
ON A LIMB
Renderer is not known for doing comedies but he moved out of his comfort zone to transform the Recovery Lounge into the realm of the Bristol Place Senior Living Facility.
The cantankerous Abby, played by Doolittle, is forced to share quarters with the too-chipper new arrival Marilyn, played by McCabe.
“Abby desperately needs to get rid of this woman early on in the play,” Renderer said.
“They make a harmless bet, and it escalates in sort of a dangerous game. They spend most of the play pranking each other. During that, some pretty serious deep truths about each one of them is revealed. Although it is a comedy, there are some heartbreaking moments in the play.”
The play’s main setting is the roommates’ well-lit lair on an upper floor, prime real estate in the facility.
“It’s not an expensive, high-end facility,” Renderer said.
“Neither woman has the money to pay for a single room. It’s a middle-of-the road room. Over the course of the play, they are making these really outrageous bets with each other.”
The geriatric combatants visit a haunted house, park and skydive.
“We do take the audience outside of the room, and it’s sort of surreal. I don’t have a theater, properly. It forces us to be creative, and it’s pretty fun. It’s really wacky at times.”
Renderer designed the set and tackles several roles, as do several other cast members.
The best part of “Ripcord,” besides a needed comedic break in bleak times, is the performance was underwritten by the Glenn and Carol Pearsall Adirondack Foundation.
Admission is absolutely free, however donations are accepted.
“If you want to come and see a play for free, you could,” Renderer said.
“I’m trying to encourage year-round residents who have never been to a play here to come and check it out. It’s kind of an experiment. People who normally would not be able to fork over 18 bucks can see a play.”
Rehearsals began in November, and Renderer is ready to let the production fly.
“We’ve been at it quite a long time,” he said.
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IF YOU GO
WHAT: "Ripcord," directed by Scott Renderer.
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Feb. 22, 23, 24, 25; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 26.
WHERE: Upper Jay Art Center/Recovery Lounge, junction of State Route 9N and Springfield Road.
ADMISSION: Free. Donations accepted.