The twists and turns, suspense, mystery and intrigue in Suzan-Lori Parks’ THE BOOK OF GRACE will evoke priceless reactions from Austin theatre audiences. Very rarely does a new theatrical work of this riveting caliber come to town. It’s even more rare to have the opportunity to watch it begin here – with the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright directing the show she authored.
Kicking off rehearsals two weeks ago, Suzan-Lori Parks set up an online Book of Grace straightaway on ZACH Theatre’s website, inviting Austin to post photos and stories of their moments of happiness to share: “What’s in Your Book of Grace?”
THE BOOK OF GRACE is the story of a South Texas bordertown family that comes together when Buddy returns home, where his stepmother Grace and father Vet live. Grace, a writer composing “The Book of Grace” with various evidences of good things in life, and Vet, a border patrol agent, discover that the familial borders they live with are even more harrowing than the fence between Mexico and the States.
“The physical border and boundaries between people, the whole concept of us and them – these are core concepts in the play.
It’s about what makes us who we are, and the characters have a constant dialogue with the audience,” Suzan-Lori Parks said, “Each has a different point of view, each has an imaginary audience.”
“Of course, in the world of theatre, the imaginary is real.”
Rehearsal are full of action and movement, constantly adapting to new pages and script adjustments, and it’s unique and extraordinary, Suzan-Lori Parks says, to watch it play out in the intimate Whisenhunt theatre-in-the-round.
“How do you move forward when you’ve been hurt? How do you forgive?”
Another cool tidbit: the final published version of THE BOOK OF GRACE will be the one that’s staged at ZACH.
Tickets start at $20 at www.zachtheatre.org or 512-476-0541 x1.