A new production by Relative Theatrics explores the enduring nature of familial relationships.
The show, “26 Miles,” is scheduled to play at 7:30 p.m. today-Saturday and Nov. 9-11 at the Gryphon Theatre, 710 Garfield St. Tickets are $12 in advance or $16 the day or the performance. For students and seniors, tickets are $10 in advance or $14 the day of the performance. A chat with the actors and design team is scheduled to follow each production.
Written by Pulitzer Prize-winner Quiara Alegria Hudes, “26 Miles” premiered in 2009. The play follows a mother and daughter who have been estranged for eight years because of a custody battle. They take an impromptu road trip from Pennsylvania to Yellowstone National Park, which allows for healing and restoration in their relationship.
“It’s not so much about the things they see — the sights along the side of the road — but the realizations and healing that occur in the personal lives of the characters,” said Anne Mason, who is directing the production together with Landee Lockhart.
Mason said the title refers to the distance of a marathon.
“It’s a metaphor for the endurance needed in a marathon, which is the same that you might need for tenuous times seeing through familial fractures,” she said.
The mother, Beatriz, is Cuban, while her daughter, Olivia, is also half-Jewish. Mason said the two learn to forgive each other after years apart and despite cultural distance.
“There’s so much of the two of them accepting the other for the wonderful aspects of their personality but also their flaws as well,” she said. “It’s in that surrendering where we’re able to see a really beautiful human connection develop.”
She said she hoped audience members might make a similar connection with people in their own lives.
“I hope that by witnessing that interaction between these two characters, the audience members who come to the show will open their hearts a little more to new experiences and new people, and all of the possibilities that come from interacting with others,” she said.
All the plays in Relative Theatrics’ fifth season are written by women. Mason said she also worked to include playwrights with diverse backgrounds. “26 Miles” might also resonate with Wyoming audiences because the characters seek adventure in the Wyoming wilderness.
The cast includes Cecilia Aragon as Beatriz, Kate Sterling as Olivia, Jeremy Rowley as Manuel and Daniel Kindregan as Aaron. All four actors are Laramie residents who are new to the Relative Theatrics stage.
Mason recommended the production for people 14 and older because of mature themes and language.
The audience is seated on the stage in the Gryphon Theatre, so each production is limited to 50 tickets. Mason recommended that people purchase tickets in advance and arrive early.
Tickets are available at the Laramie Plains Civic Center office, 710 Garfield St., Coal Creek TAP, 108 Grand Ave., or www.gryphontheatre.org.