Brownstone Transcends Time, But Not Space, at PACA
Full spectrum of human emotion on display in multigenerational play
CONTINUING THURSDAY, MAR. 9
Coming to the Performing Artists Collective Alliance's (PACA) stage in March is Catherine Butterfield's Brownstone, a work centering on the second story of a New York City brownstone apartment and the lives of those within it.
Spanning more than 80 years and encompassing the lives of three pairs of people living in the apartment across different times — one set in the 1930s, another in the 1970s, and a final pair in the early 2000s — the play focuses on these characters' uniquely New York experiences within the walls of the brownstone.
"From the perspectives of both a thespian and a marketer in the arts and cultural sector, I can tell you that Brownstone will be one of the Erie theater scene's most memorable plays this year," said Jade Mitchell, one of Brownstone's stars. "Everything has aligned so well, and every facet of this production is a draw — the plot of the play, the cast, the theater (historical PACA), the costumes (provided by local vintage shops), and the director, JR Fabin," she continues.
While the only thing in common each set of characters has with each other is the building in which they reside, all of them evoke themes of love, loss, and the full spectrum of human emotion.
The trio of pairs include Davia (Jade Mitchell) and Stephen (Justin Karns), two star-crossed lovers of the 1930s, longing to move to Paris; Maureen (Rebecca Ropelewski) and Deena (Julya Polaski), two aspiring young actresses in the 1970s trying to get their big break; and Jessica (Aimee Wokutch) and Jason (Michael Haas), a corporate power couple of the 2000s.
"I love that this is written by a female playwright. Her attention to detail and ability to weave those details in a compelling way is impeccable," said Mitchell. "JR Fabin has taken [Catherine Butterfield's] vision, melded it with his own expertise … and created something truly special."
Although Brownstone has a relatively small cast, there are multiple levels of experience shared among them, varying from classically trained actors to self-taught actors, with some new to the PACA stage. "How lucky we are in Erie to have such accessible theaters with a wonderful blending of backgrounds and talents," said Mitchell.
Weekends through Saturday, Mar. 18 // PACA, 1505 State St. // $15 // For tickets and more information: paca1505.org