Those Days Are Over
Directed by Jennifer Chang
Lead Sponsor: Elaine and Dick Sweet
Thursday, October 22, at 7:30 pm PT
Saturday, October 24, at 4:00 pm PT
Those Days Are Over concerns the five MacKillop sisters in the immediate wake of their mother’s death. They’re not exactly close, these five, and as they tussle with each other they’re also tussling with the past. Alliances are formed and broken; detente is reached one moment, dissolved the next. Fundamentally the play looks at what it is to be a Gen X woman now. It’s a vigorous collage, a deeply felt comedy, a joyous journey into grief.
I was casting a table read of another play of mine, and I needed a woman in her 40s or 50s who could do everything – be effortlessly hilarious, and then turn on a dime to reveal real and deep pathos. And in the process of thinking of women who could read that part well, I realized just how many actors I know who fit that exact description. I determined that my next play (which turned out to be Those Days Are Over) would be written specifically for a group of such women.
What I didn’t know is that I would be drawn into such a knotty, complicated family story. The characters who emerged all tussled with me and each other; the recent death of their mother doesn’t really draw them closer, either. What fascinated me was not so much why they lived so disparately, so separately, as how each of them had felt such a singular relationship to Zora, their mom.
This isn’t the first play I’ve written about a dead parent. I wonder if, in some way, I’m trying to prepare myself for the inevitable loss of my own folks.
|Dr. Marjorie Schmidt||Ellen D. Williams*|
|Stage directions||Maeve Martinez|
|Production Stage Manager||Emily Robinson|
|Production Assistant||Be Boulay|
* Appearing through an Agreement between ANPF and Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.
The childhood home of the MacKillop sisters.
David Hilder’s work has been seen across the United States as an award-winning playwright and director. His play The Insidious Impact of Anton was a winner at Ashland New Plays Festival in 2010 and received a production at Absolute Theatre in 2011 that won seven StageSceneLA awards. His plays and musicals have also been produced or developed at Acadiana Repertory Theatre, the Great Plains Theatre Conference, Primary Stages, Hunter Playwrights Festival, The Blank Theatre, Stella Adler Studios, The Flea Theater, Dixon Place, and more. He has been a finalist for many awards including the Princess Grace Award, Great Plains Theatre Conference, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, Lark Playwrights Week, the Heideman Award, and others. He is also a recovering actor as well as an alumnus of Hunter College (MFA), the University of Pennsylvania, and the O’Neill Center’s National Theater Institute.
Jennifer Chang has directed, among others, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Min Kahng (South Coast Rep); Hannah and the Dread Gazebo by Jiehae Park; Death and Cockroaches by Eric Reyes Loo; Vietgone by Qui Nguyen (LADCC Award); Animals Out of Paper by Rajiv Joseph (East West Players, LA Times Critics Pick), and Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them (Artists at Play, GLAAD Media Award, Ovation Award Nominated).
She has developed new plays with Center Theatre Group, Geffen Playhouse, Chance Theatre, Echo Theatre Company, Circle X Theatre Company, and East West Players. A Covid-affected work was William Saroyan’s The Time of Your Life at Antaeus Theatre Company. Jennifer is a founding member of Chalk Repertory Theatre, a Drama League Fellow and a Director’s Lab West Alum. She won the 2020 APAFT Award for Outstanding Direction.
She is on the faculty at UC San Diego (UCSD) Department of Theatre and Dance and is a member of Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, SAG-AFTRA, and Actors’ Equity Association. She has an MFA from UCSD and a BFA with Honors from New York University. Upcoming work includes Keiko Green’s Exotic Deadly or the MSG Play; and On Gold Mountain by Lisa See and Nathan Wang for Los Angeles Opera at The Huntington Gardens.
Winner, Ashland New Plays Festival, 2020
Finalist, National Playwrights Conference, Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, 2020
Semi-Finalist, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, 2020
Reading, Brooklyn Generator, 2019
Workshop, The Tank, 2019
Ranging from hilarious to heart-full, this conversation between playwrights and friends Ian August and David Hilder delivers it all. They discuss their ANPF 2020 winning plays ZERO and THOSE DAYS ARE OVER, respectively, sharing the stories behind the plays. David shocks Ian with how quickly he drafted THOSE DAYS ARE OVER, and Ian shocks David when he learns about Ian’s benchmarks for submitting his work to festivals. They talk about acting as the gateway drug to playwriting and discuss both the personal and the political in their art during the current political and pandemic climate we find ourselves in:
“ZERO is not a political play,” says Ian, “but I do think that it touches on themes – addiction and apathy – that are hugely political, so those are things that I’m thinking about. It’s not surfacing in a way that says this play is about politics. Most of the work that I’m doing right now is trying to sort of tell the story that I want to tell, and as I’m telling it I’m realizing it’s more political than I think I even intended when I started it.”