AN ALMOST HOLY PICTURE by Heather McDonald
Freely drawn from Pamela Ward’s story “The Hairy Little Girl”
Directed by Rosemary Close
Starring Christopher Haines
June 12th thru 27th on the Kax Stage, Herberger Theater
Samuel Gentle, a former minister, now groundskeeper at the Church of the Holy Comforter, has heard God’s call three times in his life, but none have given him understanding or peace. A tragic bus accident and the birth of his daughter, marred by a rare medical condition, have led Samuel on a spiritual journey wrestling to comprehend God’s mystery and his own rage and bewilderment at loss. As his daughter grows into a child of transcendent beauty and strength, perhaps Samuel can regain his faith and discover what is most holy.
“A father’s love is a fairly spectacular thing.”
When: June 12-27, 2015
June 12, 13, 18, 19, 20, 26 and 27 at 8:00pm
June 21 at 2:00pm
Doors open ½ hour prior to curtain.
Where: Kax Stage at the Herberger Theater Center, 222 E. Monroe
Kax Stage located on the northside of the Herberger off Van Buren.
All tickets are $20.
Call 602-252-8497 or visit www.itheatreaz.org for tickets.
About the Play
iTheatre Collaborative’s production of AN ALMOST HOLY PICTURE by Heather McDonald will be directed by iTheatre co-founder and Managing Director, Rosemary Close. The role of Samuel Gentle will be played by iTheatre’s other co-founder and Artistic Director, Christopher Haines.
Heather McDonald's play AN ALMOST HOLY PICTURE was produced on Broadway starring Kevin Bacon and directed by Michael Mayer. It was nominated for the 2002 Pulitzer Prize. The play premiered in 1995 at The La Jolla Playhouse starring David Morse and was named Best New Play of the Year by the "Los Angeles Times." Ms. McDonald received The Kesselring Award for Best New American Play from The National Arts Club. The play has subsequently been produced at Center Stage in Baltimore, Round House Theatre in Washington, D.C., The McCarter Theatre in Princeton, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Indiana Repertory Theatre, and numerous other theatres around the country. HOLY PICTURE has been featured at several conferences of Lutheran and Episcopal ministers, and was seen at The National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. It has been translated into Spanish and produced in Mexico and Spain.
In the play, AN ALMOST HOLY PICTURE, Samuel Gentle performs a number of ritual acts. None is more remarkable than his description of shaving his daughter who was born with hypertrichosis lanuginosa. Hypertrichosis is an abnormal amount of hair growth over the body; extensive cases of hypertrichosis have informally been called werewolf syndrome. Several circus sideshow performers in the 19th and early 20th centuries, such as Julia Pastrana, had hypertrichosis. Many of them worked as freaks and were promoted as having distinct human and animal traits. Samuel shaves his daughter twice weekly except during the summer when she is allowed to be free and hairy.