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Painting Churches

Painting Churches
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: Tina Howe
Publisher: Samuel French (cover image may change)
Format: s
# of Pages: 94
Pub. Date: 2011
ISBN-10: 0573619395 ‎
ISBN-13: 9780573619397
Cast Size: 2 female, 1 male

About the Play:

Painting Churches has long been a favourite of acting teachers for Female Monologues and Female/Male Scenes.

Painting Churches is a full-length comedy by Tina Howe. In a townhouse in the Beacon Hill area of Boston, an elderly couple, Fanny and Gardner Church, are packing. They are moving to a beach home on Cape Cod. Gardner is a poet and Fanny is from a 'fine old family'. Their daughter Margaret, an artist who lives in New York, has arrived to help them pack and paint their portrait.

Painting Churches centers on a moneyed, aging Boston couple, the Churches, and their ambivalent relationship with their adult daughter, Margaret. Gardner and Fanny Church are preparing to move out of their Beacon Hill home in Boston to their summer cottage on Cape Cod. Gardner, once a famous poet, now is retired. He slips in and out of senility as his wife Fanny valiantly tries to keep them both afloat. They have asked their only daughter, Margaret, to come home and help them finish packing. Margaret agrees, for she hopes as well to finally fulfill her longtime intention of painting her blue-blooded parents' portrait. She is now on the verge of artistic celebrity herself and hopes, by painting her parents, to come to terms with them and they with her. What is revealed is a powerful and sometimes touching family drama that opens long hidden secrets and takes a look at aging, family loyalty and the love of parents and children.

Painting Churches premiered in 1983 at the McGinn-Cazale Theatre off-Broadway in New York City. It transferred to the Lamb's Theatre on Broadway where it ran for 206 performances. It was a Finalist for the 1984 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and won the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Off-Broadway Play. It has become a favourite scene study vehicle in acting classes and workshops and has been mounted by colleges and community theatres.

Cast: 2 female, 1 male

What people say:

"Beautifully written. ...A theatrical family portrait that has the shimmer and depth of Renoir portraits." — The New York Times

"A radiant, loving and zestfully humorous play ... distinctly Chekhovian. Howe captures the same edgy surface of false hilarity, the same unutterable sadness beneath it, and the indomitable valor beneath both." — Time

About the Playwright:

Tina Howe (1937-2023) was an American playwright. In a career that spanned more than four decades, the celebrated playwright wrote 14 full-length plays, including the Tony nominated Coastal Disturbances and Pulitzer finalists Pride's Crossing and Painting Churches. She was a Guggenheim Fellow; a recipient of the Obie Award for Distinguished Playwriting, the Rockefeller Grant for Distinguished Playwriting, the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature, and the PEN/Laura Pels Theater Award for Master American Dramatist, amongst other titles.

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