Steeped in the epic realism of O’Neill, yet stylistically unique, The Twelfth Labor tells the story of a family struggling to survive at any cost. Esther, bereft of her husband, struggles mightily to keep her family afloat as they await their father’s return from the war. When her mentally handicapped daughter, Cleo, becomes pregnant Esther is forced to make a series of difficult decisions.
Through Cleo’s fragmented memories, prophetic dreams, and swirling language, we begin to understand the price she and her family have paid for a little dignity. All while they await the return of their long absent father, lost in the war, half a world away.
“The Twelfth Labor is based on my family’s history. Like Esther in the play, the hardships my own great-grandmother endured to secure a better life cost her much,” says playwright Leegrid Stevens. “We are compelled to pursue the American Dream but for many people in this country, my great-grandmother included, that dream is terribly elusive, laying far off, mirage-like, at the end of vast and long labors. I know the mythology states that Hercules ultimately completed the twelve labors, and now rests in the heavens as a God, but I don’t believe it. Wherever Hercules is, he’s struggling still.”
The Twelfth Labor draws from several sources to tell the story of Esther and her family, including James Joyce, Anton Chekhov, the labors of Hercules, as well as Abbott & Costello and Wizard of Oz. The play’s style shifts from realism to impressionism to magic realism as the focus of the action shifts from the present to memory to dream. The play explores the incredible landscapes that exist in the human mind, even a damaged mind. Throughout a single day Cleo travels decades, experiencing devastating tragedy, brilliant joy, and persistent labor, a lifetime within twenty four hours.
Matt Torney directs a cast of eleven, including Cynthia Babak*, Amy Bizjak*, Jed Dickson*, Jonathan Draxton, Dennis Gagomiros*, Shelby Hightower, Michael Huston*, Tanis LePore, Lynne McCollough*, Erin Treadway, and Brian White.
About the Company: Loading Dock Theatre
Loading Dock Theatre was formed by playwright/director Leegrid Stevens and actor Erin Treadway. The company is based in Brooklyn where they rehearse and build shows. The primary focus of Loading Dock is to create original plays that explore the extremes in human behavior. They produce emotional, character driven plays with an experimental edge.
Wednesdays-Saturdays @ 7:30pm
Sunday Sept. 21st @ 1pm
Saturday Oct. 11th @ 2pm:
Theater: Gene Frankel Theater
Address: 24 Bond Street
New York, NY 10012
Buy Tickets Online or Call: Artful.ly at 000-000-0000