The Brunswick Actors’ Theater’s next play, “Grace & Glorie,” would seem made for these dreadful times, but perhaps not.
The play is about Grace, a 90-year-old cancer patient who left the hospital for her home in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. The two-act, two-woman play is about the interaction between Grace and Glorie, who has a master’s degree in business administration from Harvard and moves from New York to the rural backwater to volunteer as a hospice caregiver. The headstrong, cantankerous Grace is one of her patients.
Lynda Gallagher, artistic director of the theater, and Jackie Archer, who directs the play, use the same words to describe Tom Ziegler’s play.
“A sweet and charming two-woman show,’’ Archer says.
Each of the characters carries deep losses, Archer says, but perhaps Glorie has the deeper one. She was driving when her only child was killed in an accident, leaving her tense and guilt-ridden.
There are references in the show to an apple orchard that goes unseen that brings up a metaphor of Eve and original sin, she said.
They both also describe it as funny, and Gallagher said, “There’s humor even in death and dying.”
Gallagher said the play was chosen after one of the theater’s directors suggested it, and, she said, “Hospice has become dear to my heart. Hospice is a great thing.”
The women both had the fears we all face, she said.
“They each have lessons for the other one. It’s a very sweet play,’’ she said.
Glorie has to adapt from living with all the conveniences in busy New York to Grace’s quiet, rustic home in the mountains.
“There are some great moments in here,’’ Archer said, “especially when the New York woman tries to boil an egg on a pot-bellied stove.”
Among the main messages in Grace & Glorie is that everyone has a purpose.
Performances will be at 8 p.m. on Saturday nights and 3 p.m. Sunday afternoons, Sept. 11 and 12 ;18 and 19; and 25 and 26.
Explaining the lack of Friday night shows, Gallagher said, “Our actors all work during the week. We give them Friday off.”
Archer teaches freshman English at Brunswick High and has directed two to five plays a year for 20 years. She has directed community theatre and high school and elementary students. She also taught theatre at the Averitt Center for the Arts in Statesboro.
Attendance is always a concern in a theater, but Gallagher and Archer know the audiences for “Grace & Glorie” will be necessarily small because of COVID-19.
The theater seats 113, but for social distancing audiences were limited to 65 to 70, and Gallagher said, “Now we’re down to 40, maybe 45.”
That higher number is achievable only because couples can sit together.
“That’s the best seating plan we have to keep everybody comfortable,’’ Gallagher said.
“We’re just grateful for any audience at this point,’’ Archer said. “Any time we can get people to come in and support live theater, it’s a good thing.”
The theater is at 1413 Newcastle Street. Tickets are $25 and are available for online purchase at soglogallery.com.