When a woman reflects on her past as a daughter, a wife, and a mother,
who does she see?
December 22, 2014
BOCA RATON, FL: The B’nai Torah Theatre Arts Series and producer/director Shari Upbin will bring James Sherman’s gentle comedy From Door to Door to the B’nai Torah stage for one performance only on January 18th 2015. A heartfelt tribute to American women of three generations, From Door to Door explores the influence culture and religion have in shaping life options.
Even as Mary Goodman, a woman of the ‘greatest generation’ is mourning the loss of her husband, her daughter Deborah is encouraging her to end her period of mourning and move on with a new independence. In a series of scenes between Mary, Deborah, and Mary’s mother, Bessie, Mary reflects back on her life as a daughter, wife and mother. Three actresses play the three women over the course of sixty-five years, and as we see Mary’s life progress from childhood to matrimony to motherhood, we begin to understand how each successive generation of women lives up to the expectations of the past and makes brave new choices about the future.
From Door to Door resonates deeply for producer/director Shari Upbin:“In May of 2010 my mother, who was almost 100 years old, passed away,” she explains. “There are so many things I still want to share with her on a daily basis, and one of them is that I’m directing this play where she is quoted in almost every scene! I was at one time, the young one in the cycle of three generations of mothers, and now with my mother and grandmother gone, there are my daughters and their daughters and I have come to wonderful terms with the idea that I am now the grandmother!”
Playwright James Sherman, who has penned a number of hit plays including Beau Jest, God of Isaac, Half and Half, and Jacob and Jack, has also acknowledged the play is deeply personal: “There’s no secret this play is inspired by my mother,” he has said. “I think all plays are autobiographical, the more I think about it. Edward Albee wrote Three Tall Women and those women were New England upper-class, like his family was. The women in my play are Jewish in Chicago because that’s where I was from.”
“But it also must be said that although the three characters are Jewish, this is indeed a most universal story,” Shari Upbin explains. “The sorrows, the laughter, the judgments and resolve are characteristic of women all over the world. We have a story to tell and our children must remember our stories.”
Actresses Renee Rogoff, Phyllis Spear, and Peggy Linker will take on the roles of Bessie, Mary, and Deborah.
From Door to Door is the first in the Theatre Arts Series at B’nai Torah. Carol Fox Prescott’s In the Voice of our Mothers will be presented on February 15, 2015. That production, co-produced by Shari Upbin and GFour Productions, will be directed by the playwright,
From Door to Door will run for one performance, only – on January 18th, 2015, at 1 pm – at Congregation B’nai Torah in Boca Raton. Tickets are $36 ($25 for congregational members), and may be purchased by calling 561-392-8566 or on line at www.bnai-torah.org. Group rates are available.
For more information about From Door to Door, or Shari Upbin, please contact Carol Kassie at firstname.lastname@example.org / 561-445-9244.
The Premiere Theatre Arts Series at B’nai Torah
& Shari Upbin present
From Door to Door
By: James Sherman
Directed by Shari Upbin
Sunday, January 18th at 1 pm
Tickets: $36 ($25 for congregational members)
Phone: 561-392-8566 / http://www.bnai-torah.org/theaterseries2015
B’nai Torah Congregation
6261 SW 18th Street
Boca Raton, FL 33433
Shari Upbin (Producer/Director) has been a theatre professional since the age of 13 when she became a member of Actors Equity. (Her father was a writer for Jack Benny). She has been a professional tap dancer and choreographer and is a member of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers; she was the president of the League of Professional Theatre Women/New York for seven years, and is currently President of the South Florida chapter of the National Society Of Arts And Letters.
Shari has produced and directed over 50 productions in New York and around the country. Her directing Credits include Vincent, The Passions Of The Artist Van Gogh, Danny And Sylvia at the Forum Theatre in New Jersey. Other credits include Life With Father, Fiddler On The Roof, Cabaret, Jacques Brel, The Roar Of The Greasepaint; she was awarded Best Director for her production of Side By Side By Sondheim..
Florida credits include Broadway Live! and Hollywood Live!, Confessions Of A Jewish Shiksa Dancing On Hitler’s Grave at the Kravis Center, Dames In Divaland, and Womens Minyan by Naomi Regan.
Shari served as assistant director to the world renowned British Director Michael Langham for the first Black/Hispanic Julius Caesar and Coriolanus at the New York Shakespeare Festival with Joe Papp starring Morgan Freeman.
Shari Upbin and Sandi Durell have been long time producing partners in Hollywood Live! and Broadway Live! as well as the Manhattan Association of Cabaret Award nominated Timeless Divas! series with hosts Ben Verreen, Tony Randall, Karen Mason, Tovah Feldshuh , Phyllis Newman, and Leslie Uggams.
James Sherman (Playwright) is the author of the plays Magic Time, The God of Isaac, Mr. 80%, The Escape Artist, Beau Jest, This Old Man Came Rolling Home, Jest A Second!, Romance in D, From Door to Door, The Old Man’s Friend, Affluenza!, Half and Half, Relatively Close, and Jacob and Jack. Many of these plays are regularly produced by theatres throughout the United States and have also been seen in Canada, Mexico, South America, England, Germany, Austria, Turkey, South Africa, Australia, China, and Korea.
James currently teaches Playwriting and Improvisation at Columbia College of Chicago and The Theatre School at DePaul University. He has been a teacher of playwriting and acting on the faculties of The Second City Training Center, Chicago Dramatists Workshop, and Victory Gardens Theater. He was a visiting professor for the Spring ’01 semester in Seoul, South Korea, at the Korean National University of the Arts. He has led workshops in improvisation at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California.
James Sherman has been the recipient of fellowships from The MacDowell Colony, the Ragdale Foundation, The Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and Yaddo. He is a member of The Dramatists Guild of America.
Congregation B’nai Torah is the largest conservative synagogue in South Palm Beach County and has a long and history of being the premier destination for a meaningful Jewish community made rich through prayer, education and social programming.
Critical Praise for From Door to Door:
“Hilarious and deeply moving” – New York Daily News
“A bittersweet comedy about the blessings and compromises that three generations of women encounter in their pursuit of love, faith and marriage.” – The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
“Because Sherman has all the details right, they hit home hard, and they touch us with their gentle, tried and true sentiment.” – Chicago Tribune
“Sherman’s women are Jews, but their trial and trails are universal.” – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette