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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Black Box Theatre to Stage “The Cider House Rules”

Set in rural Maine in the first half of the 20th century and spanning decades, what begins as the story of a young boy born in an orphanage matures into a coming of age tale fraught with tension and ultimately explores the meaning of family, love, duty and sacrifice.

Homer Wells is an orphan who is rejected by a series of foster families and finds himself boomeranging back to the orphanage which eventually becomes his home.
The boy is taken under the reluctant wing of St. Cloud’s orphanage and hospital founder and director, Dr. Wilbur Larch, who generally avoids developing bonds with the children of the orphanage with the hopes of easing their transition into foster homes, but as Homer gradually becomes known as “the boy who belongs to St. Cloud’s”, Dr. Larch trains him as a physician’s assistant and becomes a father figure in the boy’s life, eventually training him as an obstetrician. When Homer learns of Dr. Larch’s secret illegal abortions, he struggles with the moral questions this raises. Dr. Larch sees offering these abortions as his only option, as his patients would otherwise be subjected to the horrors of back-alley operations.

“The play raises more questions than it gives answers, but that is precisely why I wanted to produce it,” says Rich Morra, Artistic Director of the Black Box Theatre.
Also central to the story is Homer’s mutual and complicated attraction to Candy, the girlfriend of Homer’s close friend Wally, which results in a long-running affair that fuses as much romance into the plot as it does tension.
With a story spanning eight decades that tracks Homer Wells’ life, love and soul-searching journey, the play is composed of five acts, and is broken into two parts, Part I: Here in St. Cloud’s and Part II: In Other Parts of the World, in which Homer is ultimately faced with the question of returning to the orphanage and step into the shoes of the ailing Dr. Larch.

Cider House Rules, Part I: Here in St. Cloud’s will be performed May 5, 6, 8, 9 and the 19 and 21. Part II: In Other Parts of the World will be performed May 13-16 and 22-23. Evening performances are at 7pm, and Sunday matinees are at 2 or 4pm. All performances will take place in the Black Box Theatre at Artists’ Exchange. Artists’ Exchange is located at 50 Rolfe Square in Cranston. For more information, call 401.490.9475 or visit www.artists-exchange.org.

This is not an RIFC Production

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