Meetup #43: The Roommate

For our 43rd Meetup, WWSF attended the Bay Area premiere of The Roommate by Jen Silverman at SF Playhouse. Silverman wrote the play to counter her perception that once women are out of their 30’s they ‘become invisible’.  She wanted to put women in their 50s, who she often saw only in supporting roles, in the center of her play.  While Silverman’s plays have been produced all over the US (Yale Rep, South Coast Rep, Woolly Mammoth, Humana Festival), this is her first production in the SF Bay Area.

Roomate_270BeccaWoffSharon, newly divorced, needs a roommate to share her Iowa home.  Robyn needs a place to hide and a chance to start over.  This dark comedy shows us what it can take to re-route your life, and what happens when the wheels fall off.

Women theater artists involved in this production include: Julia Brothers (actor), Susi Damilano (actor), Becca Wolf (director), Nina Ball (set design), Melissa Tran (costume design), Jacqueline Scott (props artisan), Sarah Selig (stage manager), Keili Elliott (Production Assistant), Shannon Carroll (Directing Intern), Maggie Koch (Production Manager), Tish Leung (Asst. Tech. Theatre Mgr.), Leia Alex (Technical Theatre Intern), Karen McNulty (Scenic Artist), Molly Stewart-Cohn (Master Electrician), Stephanie Dittbern (Wardrobe Assistant).

If you saw the production with WWSF or on your own, please leave a comment and share your point of view!

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2 responses to “Meetup #43: The Roommate

  1. Susi Damilano and Julia Brothers make quite the comedic pair in this clever two-hander about risk and reinvention. It was a pleasure to see a play that ROCKS THE BECHDEL TEST! Despite the setting in idyllic Iowa City, the characters are anything but conventional. I loved how unrepentant they were about their appetites and moments of bad behavior. I also appreciated the authentic details in Nina Ball’s open kitchen set (I lived in Iowa City and my kitchen cabinets looked just like the ones on the set!) Jen Silverman writes with a sharp wit and a spirit of irreverent exuberance. I hope San Francisco will see more of her work soon!

  2. I also hope Bay Area theaters will produce more Jen Silverman!! Julia Brother’s dry-est of wits is on terrific display here, and Susi Damilano has a beautiful arc to play in Sharon. I’m remembering when we saw ‘Village Bike’ and many were frustrated with the way that protagonist was ‘punished’ for her appetites. This piece is an excellent counterpoint.

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