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From the Archives – “If At All”

May 14, 2020

If At All (2003)
Directed by Jerry Stropnicky
Written by Jerry Stropnicky with the Touchstone Ensemble
Jennie Gilrain, Cora Hook, Mary Wright, Bill George, Mark McKenna

Using T.S. Eliot’s FOUR QUARTETS as a spring-board, the Ensemble partnered with Jerry Stropnicky of the Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble to create this very original piece of theatre in which we see how relationships with our parents and our children evolve. It’s an exploration of the meaning of time and life– done with humor, poignancy, and movement. Drawn from T.S. Eliot’s FOUR QUARTETS and texts by Einstein, Stephen Hawking, and contemporary cosmologists, IF AT ALL was an entertaining and provocative creation. It strove to reveal the mystery of our day to day struggle with time and eternity. A remarkable, Mozartian creation, full of both science and human emotion, philosophy and quotidian triviality.

I am fond of any number of moments during the show, but the end of this sequence, where the Mother (Jennie Gilrain, who has passed away) consoles her Daughter (Cora Hook) and we see how the echoes of those nurturing words and loving gestures make their way to her Daughter, Mary Wright, is simply and touchingly profound.

— Bill George

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