By Wendy Wasserstein
January 14 - February 5,
Directed by Rhonda Clark
Dent Hughes seems to have it all, a loving husband, smart kids,
a lovely home, a politically prominent father, a highly successful career and
now a nomination to become U.S. Surgeon General.
However, in Wendy Wasserstein’s play AN AMERICAN DAUGHTER, Lyssa suddenly becomes the center of a national controversy.
Square Theatre presents the comedy-drama January 14 – February 5 at Stage
Center, located at 400 W. Sheridan in downtown Oklahoma City.
playwright Wendy Wasserstein’s inspiration for her play came from real-life
scandals that surrounded Clinton nominees for Attorney General, Zoë Baird and
Kimba Wood, it becomes about much more than politics. With her usual wit,
Wasserstein explores friendship, betrayal, a woman’s struggle to balance career
and family, and making choices. Wasserstein (the Pulitzer Prize and Tony-winning
creator of THE HEIDI CHRONICLES, THE SISTERS ROSENSWEIG, and
UNCOMMON WOMEN AND OTHERS) has consistently crafted resilient female
characters who struggle over career ambition and personal fulfillment.
In AN AMERICAN DAUGHTER,
she presents Lyssa, a leading advocate for women’s health care issues who
usually disagrees with her father, a conservative senator. She juggles being a
mother, a wife, a doctor and a political campaigner. She and her best friend,
Dr. Judith Kaufman, hold onto the belief that working hard and playing by the
rules will bring about change. Abiding by that philosophy seems to have paid off
when she is nominated for Surgeon General.
During the filming of a television
piece about Lyssa, her husband and a friend share some observations about her
busy, over-committed lifestyle. When they reveal an indiscretion from her past,
the media seize on the story and it spirals into a major scandal overnight.
Meanwhile her support system of friends and family are buckling under various
pressures. Soon, Lyssa must decide if the position she wants is worth
compromising her views and personal life.
Clark directs the cast which stars Lilli Bassett as the "American Daughter," a
descendent of Ulysses S. Grant. Terry Masters makes his Carpenter Square debut
as her professor husband who is in the midst of a mid-life crisis, while Jan
Williams is her sassy best friend who desperately wants a child. Lyssa’s
conservative gay friend Morrow is played by Rodney Brazil, and Bob Cross is her
father, Senator Hughes. Also, making her Carpenter Square Theatre debut is
Amanda Mimms as a neo-feminist writer and political commentator. The supporting
cast includes Jayme Howell, Corey Whaley, Steven Gillmore, Tom Gibson and
Christi Newbury who doubles as stage manager. Steven Gillmore’s work also
extends behind the scenes as lighting designer and sound engineer. Corey Martin
is the production set and costume designer.
Square Theatre is the recipient of a project assistance grant from the Oklahoma
Arts Council for this production. Carpenter Square is an Allied Arts member
agency and this production is an Allied Arts Star Card event.