The Community College of Rhode Island Players will stage the Rhode Island premiere of Sarah Treem’s “When We Were Young and Unafraid” at the Liston Campus in Providence from Dec. 1 to 4.
The play is set in 1972 on an island off the coast of Washington state, where Agnes has turned her quiet bed-and-breakfast into one of the few spots where victims of domestic violence can seek refuge.
Guest Mary Anne, who was severely beaten by her husband but still has not gotten over him, begins to influence Agnes’s college-bound daughter, Penny, giving her some questionable advice about how to deal with boys. Two other characters who become involved are Paul, a guest at the B&B, and Hannah, a wayfarer looking for work on her way to a radical women’s collective nearby. As the drums of a feminist revolution grow louder outside of her tiny world, Agnes is forced to confront her own presumptions about the women she has spent her life trying to help.
The cast includes Erin Archer, Tabi Baez and Jerry Middlemiss of Providence; Julia Egan and Amber Rastella of Cranston; Victoria Jessop of Swansea, Massachusetts, and Carl J. Gerhard of Bristol. Chelsea Titchenell of Coventry is the stage manager, assisted by Shoshana Adler of Cranston. Raymond S. Legare of Pawtucket is the dramaturg and the graphic designer is Natasha Corkren of Bellingham, Massachusetts.
The production is directed by Professor Bert Silverberg, with set design by Associate Professor Luke J. Sutherland, lighting design by Kathy Abernathy and costume design by Assistant Professor Marilyn Salvatore. Student designers are Kat Brown of West Greenwich (properties) and Ian Thresher of Exeter (sound).
Treem once told an interviewer that for a good play, “you put people in a room who have very good reasons to be furious at each other and you don’t let them leave.” Her plays include “The How and the Why,” which was produced by Trinity Repertory Company in 2012. Her work in television began on the acclaimed HBO series “In Treatment” and continued with the political drama “House of Cards.” She co-created the hit Showtime series “The Affair,” which won the Golden Globe for Outstanding Drama Series in 2015.
Performances of “When We Were Young and Unafraid” will be held at 7:30 p.m. Thursday to Saturday, Dec. 1 to 3, and at 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 3 and 4.
Tickets for open seating cost $10 general and $8 for students, seniors, and CCRI faculty and staff. Patrons are advised that the play deals with mature subject matter and is not suitable for children. For reservations, call 401-825-2219.