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First there’s Myrna, the saccharine sweet, docile conformist whose only ambition is to raise 2.5 children and take dictation for her pipe-smoking, young executive husband.
Fate has cursed her with a twin sister named Myra, a promiscuous, streetwise delinquent who dirties her sister’s room and reputation while dreaming of James Dean and carefree nights in Greenwich Village.
The Mineola Twins, both a farce and a satire, is a wickedly witty comic book come to life. It begins during the “I Like Ike” era 1950s and finds Myrna working at a small town diner, while Myra is working her way through the second string of the high school football team. The play flashes forward to 1969 – Nixon is in the White House, protesters are in the streets, and the relationship between Myrna and Myra is no better. Myrna’s dreams of a utopian home life have been shattered by a failing marriage, a round of electro-shock therapy and a son whose politics are dangerously similar to Myra ‘s. Meanwhile, Myra is on the lam following a botched bank robbery attempt.
By the time the twins reach the late 1980s, Myrna has become the nation’s most influential, conservative talk show host, while Myra works for women’s reproductive rights.
The Mineola Twins, written by Obie and Pulitzer Award-winning playwright Paula Vogel, is a brisk, biting comedy that is as poignant as it is absurdist. It follows the spirit of last season’s Jobsite production of Cloud Nine (which won four Best of the Bay Pundit’s Picks and was listed as the #1 play of 2003 by Weekly Planet, and a top 10 production by Tampa Tribune.) Fittingly, Vogel considers Churchill one of her favorite playwrights.
The Mineola Twins will have you laughing throughout and thinking long after the house lights come up. It is not so much a play about two warring individuals as it is an examination of conflicting viewpoints in the good old USA. Wildly theatrical and ultimately very moving, it examines the underlying schizophrenia of American politics and its impact on our daily lives. Think John Waters meets Carol Burnett.
Jobsite Artistic Director says that the show is “certainly Vogel’s most passionately political piece. The second act of the play takes place in the first Bush administration, and it’s truly creepy how well it fits today’s battles between the left and right, sometimes even within our own families. It could hardly be more relevant.”
Jenkins stresses the importance of a show like this where the whole community can come and react, especially in these volatile times. According to Vogel, ” Theatre is all about community-it’s a communal activity. In these days of increasing isolation-where we watch small screens in the dark, or huddle around the computer-theatre gives us a spiritual bread not offered by any other art form. Theatre gives us the chance to gather together in public to look at parts of our lives, and as a community think and feel about these issues which touch us all. Only communal response changes our world.”
Part of Jobsite’s mission is the creation of politically and socially relevant theater and the pursuit of performing it to the broadest possible audience, and they hope the community embraces this important piece.
“Worth paying attention to.” – St. Petersburg Times
“The audience was nearly rolling in the aisles.” – The Tampa Tribune
Cast & Crew
- David M. Jenkins – Director
- Katrina Stevenson – Myra/Myrna
- Roz Potenza – Ensemble
- Chris Holcom – Ensemble
- Kari Goetz – Ensemble
- Kevin Spooner – Ensemble
- Shawn Paonessa – Assistant Director
- David M. Jenkins – Costume/Sound Designer
- Katrina Stevenson – Costume Engineer
- Kevin Spooner – Sound Engineer
- Brian M. Smallheer – Scenic Designer
- John Lott – Lighting Designer
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