Austin Pendleton, the acclaimed Broadway director and actor, will direct “Trying,” an inter-generational drama by Joanna McClelland Glass opening at Cape May Stage on Oct. 14.
Pendleton recently directed the Off-Broadway hit and Pulitzer Prize-winning play “Between Riverside and Crazy” by Stephen Adly Guirgis. He is a stage and screen veteran who won fame for playing Motel in Fiddler on the Roof on Broadway in 1968, and has appeared in 200 films and on television shows such as Homicide, Oz and Law and Order. In addition, he was nominated for a Tony award for directing Elizabeth Taylor and Maureen Stapleton in The Little Foxes on Broadway.
“Trying” is a two-character play about the final year in the life of Francis Biddle, set in 1967. In the play, Pendleton directs Howard Green, who plays Biddle, a grouchy 81-year-old who served as Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s attorney general and the American chief judge at the Nuremberg tribunal, and Allison Plamondon, who plays Sarah, his plain-spoken young secretary.
The play is based on a true story. Biddle, a descendent of the notable Philadelphia Quaker family who purchased nearly one hundred square miles of land from William Penn, is near death, and is settling accounts and dictating his memoirs. Sarah, Biddle’s new employee with a long history of being irascible and difficult to work with, slowly builds a relationship with Biddle by showing him that she’s able to stand up for herself. Joanna McClelland Glass, the playwright, based the story on her own real-life experience working for Biddle in the 1960s.
“Trying” runs from Oct. 14 through Nov. 15. There will be a half-price senior matinee on Sunday, Oct. 15 and a free post-show discussion with cast and crew on Friday, Oct. 30. There is also a pay-what-you-wish performance on Friday, Nov. 6. Ticket prices are $18 for students/military, $33 for seniors and $38 for adults. Opening night tickets, which include an after-party with the director and the cast, are $53. To purchase tickets, call (609) 770-8311 or visit www.capemaystage.org.