Who says theater is not real life?

Judge Francis Biddle (Robert Hawkes) knows all about the law, but seems less certain about assistant Sarah's (Debbie Jenkins) home town in Canada. The two characters butt heads in Clague Playhouse's production of "Trying." Photo by Terry Schordock

Clague Playhouse’s production of "Trying" delights audiences with its humor and the strong acting by Robert Hawkes and Debbie Jenkins.  Playwright Joanna McClelland Glass writes about her real-life experience as secretary to Judge Francis B. Biddle who had been U.S. attorney general from 1941-1945, serving first under Franklin D. Roosevelt and then Harry S. Truman. 

“What gives the distinct sound of truth to the script,” said Director Douglas Farren, “is that the story comes out of a real life experience.” Farren believes that the short relationship Glass had with Biddle led her into the world of writing.

"Trying" reaches a professional level that incorporates the best of live theater – actors who inhabit the characters, a set that draws you into the story, costumes representing an era (1960s), and area lighting that keep you focused on the action.

Set designer Ron Newell, who is also an actor, realizes that a set needs space where the actors can live. His design and details transformed a 16-by-16-foot bare stage into Biddle’s office in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C. 

The two characters from different generations and their reactions to one another are the basis for the constant humor of the play. The character Sarah Schorr is newly hired as a secretary to Biddle, and throughout the play they master survival in a caustic employee/employer relationship. Their interaction throughout the play draws you into their world and endears you to them.

The play runs through Feb. 1 on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. For reservations, call 440-331-0403 Wednesday through Saturday noon to 6 p.m.

Bernice Bolek

Public Relaltions professional, retired. Former theatrical actress, director at Lakewood Little Theater (now Beck Center) and Clague Playhouse. Now Volunteer.

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Volume 7, Issue 2, Posted 9:56 AM, 01.20.2015