• Peter Sheppard directs play about cleaning — and healing
By Randi Somers
With this weekend’s opening of “The Clean House,” Pier One Theatre is staging their third Sarah Ruhl play in four years. Homer audiences were previously entertained by Ruhl’s “Dead Man’s Cell Phone” in 2010, and “Eurydice” in 2012.
“Before Sarah Ruhl was a playwright, she was a poet,” wrote one reviewer. “This is fairly evident from the format, imagery and dialogue in The Clean House.”
“If there is one thing ‘The Clean House’ is about, it’s healing,” said director Peter Sheppard in summing up the play. “Each character in this play is trying to heal either one or all of the other characters with varying degrees of success. It mirrors how so many of us live our lives and is something that Sarah Ruhl does a very good job of.”
One character in the play is a cleaning woman whose comedian parents died not long before the play starts.
Matilde (pronounced ma-chill-GEE), is played by Sierra Smith. Matilde moves to America from Brazil and begins working as a house cleaner for married doctors Lane (Margaret Quarton) and Charles (Peter Sheppard). However, cleaning is just not her thing.
Matilde is still suffering the loss of her parents and is comforted and helped by Lane’s sister, an obsessive cleaner named Virginia (Nancy Chastain).
As they become closer, Matilde focuses on her humorist side, while Virginia starts secretly cleaning Lane’s house for her new friend.
Peter Sheppard directs and also performs the only male role in the play. He has performed and worked behind the scenes at Pier One for many years, but this is his first directorial venture.
Actors include Sierra Smith, Margaret Quarton, Nancy Chastain, Peter Sheppard and Amy Reedy-Huffman. Reedy-Huffman plays Charles’ ill soulmate/lover, Ana.
The play will be presented June 14-16, and again July 6, 7, 11 and 12. It is part of Pier One’s plan to offer more than one play per weekend in the months of July and August.
As usual, tickets are available at the Homer Bookstore and at the ticket booth in front of the theatre on the nights of the play. General admission tickets are $14, with discounts for seniors, students and contributors.
For reservations call (907) 235-7333.
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