"Rain in the Hollows" - a compelling reflection of family drama

| 21 Feb 2012 | 10:46

    SUSSEX n Family dramas, like the families they reflect, can be complicated and precarious, and every family struggles with its own myths. Playwright Sean O'Leary digs deep into his West Virginia heritage with Tri-State Actors Theater's presentation of his new play, "Rain in the Hollows," playing June 16-July 4. In "Rain in the Hollows", a young Boston journalist returns to confront his larger-than-life brother. As in many families, O'Leary begins with small talk and progresses to gossip as family tensions simmer until the whole kettle boils over in conflict. In the story, set in 1972, Claudie Hukill is the pride and prodigy of his insignificant West Virginia mining hollow. The confident golden boy of Logan County, he's a sports champion and ladies' man and everyone basks in his glow. He walks between the raindrops even while skirting the law. When heavy rains threaten to flood the valley, all eyes are on Claudie to save them. He is the axle at the center of O'Leary's thought-provoking and engrossing story. Every relationship in "Rain in the Hollows" is crafted relative to the characters' relationship to Claudie. The characters are richly written and are played by Anne Barclay as Grandma Hukill, Jane Cunningham as Kit Hukill, Kendal Ridgeway as Pearl Hukill, J.C. Hoyt as Sam Burton, Cori Lynn Campbell as Tierney Chase, and Kurt Elftmann as Rob Hukill. Tri-State's artistic director, Paul Meacham, will direct "Rain in the Hollows."  "Rain in the Hollows," first read by the company as part of the 2002 New Plays Reading Series, will open with two preview performances on Wednesday and Thursday, June 16 and 17. All seats are $15. Opening Night with a reception following is Friday, June 18; all seats are $30. Preview and regular Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening performances are at 8 p.m. and Sunday matinees are at 3 p.m. The run continues through Sunday, July 4. Ticket prices are $25, $23 for seniors and students on Friday and Saturday evening and $23/$20 for seniors and students for Thursday evenings and Sunday matinees. Tri-State Actors Theater performs at the historic Crescent Theater, Main Street and Fountain Square in Sussex. Tickets can be purchase online at www.tristateactorstheater.org, by calling the box office at 973 875-2950, or in person at the box office. Call ahead for box office hours. Patrons are encouraged to park in the free municipal parking lot on Harrison Street., directly behind the theater.