Alabaster Is Scar Tissue You'll Wish You Saw
Audrey Cafely's impactful drama receives PACA treatment
DEBUTING FRIDAY, SEPT. 24
Poignant, tragic, and potentially life-altering, our scars — and the events that leave them — stand out. They're the jagged, bumpy ridges on the human relief map that we either learn to traverse or forever get lost in, unsure of how to proceed.
Alabaster by Audrey Cafely is all about the topography of scars, and how we can find a foothold. Set in small-town Alabaster, Alab., the story centers on reclusive folk artist June, living alone with her two goats Weezy and Bib after a catastrophic tornado lays waste to most of her family farm. The storm also leaves her covered with head-to-toe scars and debilitating PTSD. She makes a fascinating study for internationally renowned photographer Alice — who does not wear her scars on the surface, but finds solidarity with her mercurial subject nonetheless. The sexual tension between the two women is undeniable, but it's their shared quest to engage their pain and heal through their art that ultimately bonds them.
Heartrending and darkly comical (thanks in large part to the quips and asides of Weezy the talking goat), this gut-twister of a Southern drama has had an F5-level impact in theater circles, winning Cafely the David Calicchio Emerging American Playwright Prize and breaking the National New Play Network record with an 11-city rolling world premiere continuing late into 2021 (due to COVID-19 postponements). Although Erie was not on that original list of locales, the Performing Arts Collective Alliance (PACA) could not help but catch wind of the hype.
Directed by Mark Tanenbaum, the PACA production stars Karen Schelinski as June and Krista Perry as Alice, with Char Newport and Betsy Butoryak taking on the roles of Weezy and Bib. Eschewing streaming and pre-recorded performances this time around, Alabaster can only be witnessed in person on Fridays and Saturdays from Sept. 24 through Oct. 9. If you appreciate a script with beauty, humor, and sincerity, you'll hardly need goated into this one.
Fridays and Saturdays through Oct. 9, doors open at 7:30 p.m., curtains at 8 p.m. // PACA, 1505 State St., 2nd Floor // $15 // www.paca1505.org