Wisdom & Inspiration from A.R. Gurney

Over his lifetime, A.R. Gurney shared many words of wisdom with audiences here at Primary Stages and at theaters across the country. Here are some of our favorite anecdotes of advice from one of the most prolific playwrights of the 20th century. (And follow us on Instagram for new wisdom each Wednesday!)

The Primary Stages production of Final Follies by A.R. Gurney runs through October 21, 2018 at the Cherry Lane Theatre. Click here for ticket information and more!

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All About A.R. Gurney – A History of the Prolific Playwright

A. R. Gurney wrote plays for nearly fifty years. Besides Love Letters, his more familiar ones are The Dining Room, The Cocktail Hour, and Sylvia, and is known to Primary Stages audiences for the plays Black Tie, Buffalo Gal, The Fourth Wall, and Indian Blood. He taught literature at M.I.T. for many years before turning to writing full time. Besides plays, Gurney also wrote three novels, two opera librettos, and several efforts for TV. Most of his plays have been produced Off-Broadway by such theater organizations as Primary Stages, Playwrights Horizons, Lincoln Center, and the Flea Theater. Gurney passed away June 14, 2017. He was a member of the Theatre Hall of Fame and the American Academy of Arts and Letters, as well as father of four children, grandfather of eight grandchildren, and husband of fifty-seven years to his wife, Molly.

Let’s take a look back at some of the highlights of his career.

Gurney headshot by Walter Kurtz

A.R. Gurney

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A.R. Gurney and Holland Taylor at the first reading of Love Letters

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David Pittu and Sandy Duncan in Primary Stages production of The Fourth Wall

"Indian Blood" a new at Primary Stages

Jack Gilpin, Rebecca Luker, Charles Socarides, John McMartin, Pamela Payton-Wright, and Matthew Arkin in Primary Stages 2006 production of Indian Blood

Primary Stages - Black Tie

Daniel Davis and Gregg Edelman in Primary Stages production of Black Tie

A.R. Gurney - Buffalo Gal - Primary Stages

Jennifer Regan, James Waterston, and Susan Sullivan in Primary Stages production of Buffalo Gal

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The cast of A.R. Gurney’s Sweet Sue

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Matthew Broderick and Annaleigh Ashford in the 2015 Broadway production of Sylvia

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Sarah Jessica Parker in the original production of Sylvia at Manhattan Theater Club in 1995

 

The Primary Stages production of Final Follies by A.R. Gurney runs through October 21, 2018 at the Cherry Lane Theatre. Click here for ticket information and more!

Meet the Cast of A.R. Gurney’s Final Follies!

A.R. Gurney’s Final Follies, our first show of the 2018/19 season, has officially begun! Meet the talented actors who bring these three plays to life.

Piter MarekPITER MAREK (Howie Hale, The Rape of Bunny Stuntz; Professor Burgess, The Love Course) appeared in the recent Broadway productions of Disgraced and Cyrano de Bergerac. He has also performed in multiple seasons of Shakespeare in the Park. TV credits include multiple seasons on “The Blacklist”, as well as “Madam Secretary,” “Quantico,” “The Arrangement,” “Gone,” “Time After Time,” “Blue Bloods,” “NCIS,” “Nikita,” “Mozart in the Jungle,” “Ugly Betty,” and “The Sopranos”, “The Late Show with David Letterman.” Piter will reprise his recurring role on the final season of “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”.

Betsy AidemBETSY AIDEM (Wilma Trumbo, The Rape of Bunny Stuntz; Professor Carroway, The Love Course). Recent: All The Way opposite Bryan Cranston; Beautiful; Nikolai and the Others, Road (Lincoln Center Theater); The Celebration, Dreams of Flying… (Atlantic); The Metal Children, Mary Rose (Vineyard); Crooked (WP). Film: Irrational Man, Margaret, A Vigilante, You Can Count on Me, The Bleeding House. Recent TV: “Bull,” “Madam Secretary,” “Orange is the New Black,” “The Americans,” many “Law & Orders.” With David Saint at George Street: Jolson Sings Again, God of Carnage, and Mama’s Boy. Obie Award for Sustained Excellence of Performance.

Colin Hanlon

COLIN HANLON (Nelson, Final Follies; Mike, The Love Course). Broadway: Falsettos, Rent, Wicked (tour), and In Transit. Also: The Nerd (George Street Playhouse, dir. Kevin Cahoon); ‘Adam’ in Colman Domingo’s Dot (Vineyard, dir. Susan Stroman); Next Fall (St. Louis Rep). Off-Bway: I Love You Because and The Pirates of Penzance. TV/Film: ‘Steven’ on “Modern Family,” “Difficult People,” “The Sinner,” and the upcoming film Yes. Co-producer and star of web series “Submissions Only.”

greg side blueGREG MULLAVEY (Grandfather, Final Follies) has appeared in 100+ productions. Broadway: Rumors, Romantic Comedy, The Sisters Rosensweig. Favorite Off-Broadway: Precious Little Talent (West End Theatre), National Jewish Theatre’s The Soap Myth (Steinberg Center for Theatre), Clever Little Lies (dir. David Saint, Westside Theatre). Favorite Regional: The Remains (Studio Theatre, DC), The Price (Guthrie), ‘Lear’ in King Lear (Oklahoma Shakespeare). 100s of TV/Film credits include: Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, “Centennial,” “The Desperate,” and “iCarly.” Best known as Mary’s husband, ‘Tom’ on “Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman.”

Rachel NicksRACHEL NICKS (Tanisha, Final Follies; Sally, The Love Course) is excited to be making her Primary Stages debut. Regionally, she has appeared in Turning Off the Morning News (McCarter) and Skeleton Crew (The Old Globe). Her Off-Broadway credits include War (LCT3), And I and Silence (The Signature Theater Company), and The Good Negro (The Public Theater). Her television appearances include “The Affair,” “Nurse Jackie,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Crossing Jordan,” and “Amsterdam.” She was also in the films Ball Don’t Lie and Life Support on HBO. Ms. Nicks is a graduate of The Juilliard School. 

Deborah RushDEBORAH RUSH (Bunny Stuntz, The Rape of Bunny Stuntz) is lucky to have worked in New York with great authors, including: Shakespeare (3) (Delacorte), Moliere, Wallace Shawn, and Stephen Adly Guirgis (Public). On Broadway: Michael Frayn, Noel Coward (2), Alan Ayckbourn, Wendy Wasserstein, Terrence McNally (MTC), Ethan Cohen (Atlantic), and now Pete Gurney! Films by: Woody Allen (2), Nora Ephron (2), Sidney Lumet, Herb Ross, two Franks: Oz and Perry, Jim Abrahams, John Avildsen, Miguel Arteta, Ingrid Juggerman, Ryan Fleck, Jordan Galland. TV: currently: “Orange Is The New Black” and “Billions;” formerly: “Strangers With Candy,” “Spin City,” “Inside Amy Schumer,” and many guest star roles.

Mark JunekMARK JUNEK (Walter, Final Follies). Credits include: Angels in America (Actors’ Theatre of Louisville), The Hairy Ape (Park Avenue Armory), American Son (George Street Playhouse), Frankenstein (Denver Center), The Forgotten Woman (Bay Street Theatre), After All The Terrible Things I Do (Milwaukee Rep), The Vibrator Play (Syracuse Stage), Vanya and Sonia… (Berkeley Rep), The Imaginary Invalid (Bard Summerscape), Family Play (New Ohio), The Performers (Broadway), Galileo and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (CSC). TV: “The Outs,” “Blindspot,” “Forever,” “Smash,” and “Law and Order: SVU”. Graduate of Columbia and Juilliard (Drama Division, Group 40).

Final Follies by A.R. Gurney runs September 12 – October 21, 2018 at the Cherry Lane Theatre. Click here for ticket information and more!

A Note from Andrew Leynse and Shane Hudson on Final Follies

As we kickoff our 34th season, we have some words from Andrew Leynse and Shane Hudson to share with you. Continue reading to learn about what it means to be “at home with Primary Stages,” and A.R. Gurney’s longtime collaboration with Primary Stages.

A core principle of our mission at Primary Stages is to support playwrights over their careers, working to create a home where artists can return. Our collaboration with A.R. (Pete) Gurney began when we were at our original home on 45th Street. Casey Childs, our founder, had just finished working on Pete’s Far East for WNET/Thirteen and Pete gave him The Fourth Wall to produce. Pete thought it would be the perfect play for 2002 with its biting humor and political edge. David Saint signed on to direct and thus began our fruitful relationship with Pete.  

Over the years we’ve produced five more Gurney premieres: Strictly Academic, Buffalo Gal, Indian Blood, Black Tie, and now, Final Follies. Pete often told us how much he loved to be in an intimate theater and how his plays would resonate with audiences in ways that were different from large houses. Perhaps the intimacy of Off-Broadway allowed Pete to discover the most from his plays. Here, he could exercise his rebellious side, stir things up, and feel his audiences react.


Right before he passed in 2017, Pete finished Final Follies and spoke to his agent Jonathan Lomma about sending it to us. Thrilled to see a new piece of writing from Pete, we crafted a triptych of one-acts that similarly spoke to Pete’s vision and, perhaps, more to his downtown roots where he first began writing plays.

Starting with Final Follies (which Pete prophetically entitled), we then move on to The Rape of Bunny Stuntz, which was one of Pete’s earliest plays and originally performed right here at the Cherry Lane Theatre, and finally, we end with The Love Course, which Pete wrote in the early 1970s. Under David Saint’s stewardship, these plays celebrate Pete’s desire to explore a more complex side to his characters. Though Pete’s humor constantly lifts these plays up, there is a darker side to what he is exploring – issues of sexual repression and challenging one’s roots and culture are constantly at the forefront. Pete is considered to be the foremost chronicler of WASP culture and as much as he relishes its traditions, he also seeks ways to challenge the status quo. This is ultimately what made him such an important American dramatist and why we are thrilled that you are here to celebrate his body of work with us.

Andrew Leynse and Shane Hudson

Andrew LeynseShane Hudson

The Primary Stages production of Final Follies by A.R. Gurney runs through October 21, 2018 at the Cherry Lane Theatre. Click here for ticket information and more!

Final Follies Production Photos

A.R. Gurney’s Final Follies began performances on September 12 and is running through October 21. Take a look at photos from the production featuring cast members Betsy Aidem, Colin Hanlon, Mark Junek, Piter Marek, Greg Mullavey, Rachel Nicks, and Deborah Rush. All photos are by James Leynse.

A.R. Gurney's Final Follies at Primary Stages.

Colin Hanlon and Rachel Nicks

A.R. Gurney's Final Follies at Primary Stages.

Greg Mullavey and Mark Junek

A.R. Gurney's Final Follies at Primary Stages.

Deborah Rush and Piter Marek

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Betsy Aidem and Deborah Rush

A.R. Gurney's Final Follies at Primary Stages.

Deborah Rush

A.R. Gurney's Final Follies at Primary Stages.

Betsy Aidem and Piter Marek

A.R. Gurney's Final Follies at Primary Stages.

Colin Hanlon and Piter Marek

A.R. Gurney's Final Follies at Primary Stages.

Rachel Nicks, Betsy Aidem, and Piter Marek

A.R. Gurney's Final Follies at Primary Stages.

Colin Hanlon and Rachel Nicks

The Primary Stages production of Final Follies by A.R. Gurney runs through October 21, 2018 at the Cherry Lane Theatre. Click here for ticket information and more!

Primary Stages ESPA Fall 2018 Writing, Acting, and Directing Classes

Fall 2018 Acting, Writing, and Directing classes at Primary Stages ESPA are now open for enrollment.

See our list of available classes below. For more information, download the complete course descriptions here.

To register, email us with your desired class at espa@primarystages.org, or call 212.840.9705 x215.

PLAYWRITING

Advanced Playwriting

By invitation only. This class offers a select group of returning ESPA writers an even more rigorous curriculum than our First Draft and Rewrite classes.

Returning Students: $560

Section A with Joshua Harmon (Writer, Significant Other on Broadway, Bad Jews at Roundabout Theater Company)

Thursdays from 6:30pm – 9:30pm

September 20, 27, October 4, 11, 18, 25, November 1, 8, 15, 29, December 6

*This class will be 10 sessions; one of the above dates will be cancelled, but please hold all 11 dates until the released date is confirmed by Joshua

Section B with  Winter Miller (Writer, In Darfur at The Public)

Wednesdays from 6:00pm – 9:00pm

September 26, October 3, 10, 17, 24, 30*, November 7, 14, 28, December 5

*Please note that October 30 is a Tuesday

Section C with Rogelio Martinez (Writer, Ping Pong at The Public, Blind Date at the Goodman Theatre)

Tuesdays from 6:30pm – 9:30pm

October 2, 9, 16, 23, November 6, 13, 20  27, December 4, 11

The First Draft

This class will guide you through the development of your first draft, providing concrete deadlines, constructive feedback, and a collaborative environment that will encourage you to get your ideas on the page.

Returning Students: $560 / New Students: $580

Section A with Eddie Sanchez (Writer, Barefoot Boy with Shoes On at Primary Stages)

Sundays from 11:00am – 2:00pm

September 16, 23, 30, October 14, 21, 28, November 4, 11, 18, December 2

Section B with Michael Walkup (Producing Artistic Director, Page 73)

Wednesdays from 6:30pm – 9:30pm

September 19, 26, October 3, 10, 17, November 14, 28, December 5, 18*, 19

*Please note that December 18 is a Tuesday

Section C with Suzanne Bradbeer (Writer, Confederates, Pulitzer-nominated The God Game)

Thursdays from 6:30pm – 9:30pm

September 20, 27, October 4, 18, 25, November 1, 15, 29, December 13, 20

Section D with Abe Koogler (Writer, Obie-Winning Fulfillment Center at MTC, Kill Floor at LCT3)

Mondays from 6:30pm – 9:30pm

September 24, October 1, 15, 22, 29, November 5, 12, 19, December 3, 10

Section E with Adam Kraar (Writer, New World Rhapsody at MTC, Wild Terrain at EST)

Tuesdays from 6:30pm – 9:30pm

September 25, October 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, November 13, 20, 27, December 4

Section F with Winter Miller (Writer, In Darfur at The Public)

Wednesdays from 10:30am – 1:30pm

September 26, October 3, 10, 17, 24, 31, November 7, 14, 28, December 5

Fundamentals of Playwriting

Instructor: Kara Lee Corthron (Writer, AliceGraceAnon at New Georges)

If you’re just stepping into the world of playwriting, welcome!

Thursdays from 6:30pm – 9:30pm

September 20, 27, October 4, 18, 25

Returning Students: $400 / New Students: $460

Rewriting Your Draft

Instructor: Crystal Skillman (Writer, Geek, Rain and Zoe Save the World)

Tackle the revision process and develop a stronger version of your play.

Mondays from 6:30pm – 9:30pm

October 22, 29, November 5, 12, 19, 26, December 3, 10, 17, 18*

*Please note that December 18 is a Tuesday

Returning Students: $560 / New Students: $580

The Second Draft

Instructor: Kara Lee Corthron (Writer, AliceGraceAnon at New Georges)

This class is for those with complete drafts who are ready to hear their play in full and embark on strategic rewrites.

Mondays from 6:00pm – 10:00pm

September 17, 24, October 1, 15, 22, 29, November 5, 12, 19, 26

Returning Students: $580 / New Students: $600

Workshop: Rage Structure and Tradition

Instructor: Robert Askins (Hand to God on Broadway, EST, and MCC; Permission at MCC)

If you’re angry, disappointed, almost livid, let’s talk about how you can yell at the world through the megaphone of the stage.

Saturday, September 22 and Sunday, September 23

12:00pm – 3:00pm both days

Returning & New Students: $240

Workshop: Writing Poetic, Political Plays

Instructor: Stefanie Zadravec (Writer, The Electric Baby at Two River Theatre Company)

Does your play say what you think it’s saying? Spend this 2-day workshop breaking open your play and tuning your sense of how a play “lands” on its ear.

Saturday, November 10 and Sunday, November 11

11:00am – 3:00pm both days

Returning & New Students: $240

Workshop: Getting to the Rewrite

Instructor: Melissa Ross (Writer, Of Good Stock at MTC, Nice Girl at Labyrinth)

In this 2-day writing workshop, you will dig into your play, ask it new questions, and emerge with a clear vision for rewrites.

Saturday, December 1 and Sunday, December 2

1:00pm – 6:00pm both days

Returning & New Students: $280

 

DIRECTING

Directing from Page to Stage

Instructor: Suzanne Agins (Director, Radiance at LAByrinth, Jailbait at Cherry Lane)

This 8-week class is for directors of all levels to dive into the process of getting a play into rehearsal and on its feet, culminating in a showing at the Cherry Lane Theatre, the Off-Broadway home of Primary Stages.

Sundays from 1:00pm – 4:00pm

September 16, 30, October 14, 21, November 4, 18, December 2, 9

The performance at the Cherry Lane will be December 9 at 7:30pm

Returning Students: $420 / New Students: $480

Workshop: Reviving Problematic Material in our Current Climate

Instructor: Kimberly Senior (Director, Disgraced on Broadway, Discord… at Primary Stages)

Reviving older works with problematic or out-dated material, like My Fair Lady or Carousel in the #MeToo Era, presents a problem for the modern, socially-conscious director. This workshop with director Kimberly Senior will help you face those challenges in a thoughtful and thought-provoking manner.

Saturday, December 8 and Sunday, December 9

12:00pm – 4:00pm both days

Returning & New Students: $280

Workshop: Seeing Between the Lines: Final Follies

Instructor: Ken Cerniglia (Dramaturg and Literary Manager, Disney Theatrical Group)

The dramaturg’s job is to read between the lines and enhance a script with specificity and accuracy. This workshop will teach you to watch a play from the perspective of a dramaturg and see what you’ve been missing, using Final Follies, the first show of the Primary Stages Season

Date to be announced!

Returning & New Students: $40

ACTING

The Callback

Instructor: Lisa Donadio (Associate Casting Director, Playwrights Horizons)

With an emphasis on callbacks, learn how to prepare material ahead of time but still remain flexible enough to take direction in the room.

Wednesdays from 6:30pm – 9:30pm

October 10, 17, 24, November 7, 14

Returning Students: $400 / New Students: $460

Being On-Camera

Instructors: Amelia Campbell (Tony-nominated Actor, Our Country’s Good, A Streetcar Named Desire on Broadway, Netflix’s “Mindhunter”, Leaves of Grass) and Anthony Arkin (Actor and Filmmaker, I’m Not Rappaport on Broadway, “The Americans”)

Be freed from the pressure to perform so you can focus your attention on learning and refining on-camera skills in a supportive and exciting environment.

Mondays from 6:30pm – 9:30pm

September 17, 24, October 1, 15, 22

Returning Students: $400 / New Students: $460

On-Camera Auditioning

Instructors: Amelia Campbell (Tony-nominated Actor, Our Country’s Good, A Streetcar Named Desire on Broadway, Netflix’s “Mindhunter”, Leaves of Grass) and Anthony Arkin (Actor and Filmmaker, I’m Not Rappaport on Broadway, “The Americans”)

This brand new class with Anthony Arkin and Amelia Campbell is an intimate and intensive dive into the preparation and experience of the on-camera audition.

Mondays from 6:30pm – 9:30pm

October 29, November 5, 12, 19

Returning Students: $400 / New Students: $460

Acting Comedy: Finding Your Funny

Instructor: Jen Wineman (Director, Sweeney Todd at Playmaker’s Rep with Broadway’s Annie Golden; Co-founder, Studio 42)

Learn how to access your own sense of comedy and trust your comedic impulses in both the rehearsal and audition room.

Tuesdays from 7:00pm – 10:00pm

September 11, 18, 25, October 2, 9

Returning Students: $260 / New Students: $320

Scene Study: Exploring the Primary Stages Season

Instructors: Casey Childs (Founder, Primary Stages), Andrew Leynse (Artistic Director, Primary Stages), and Erin Daley (Associate Artistic Director, Primary Stages)

You will work on scenes by the 2018/19 Primary Stages Season playwrights (A.R. Gurney, Theresa Rebeck, and Leah Nanako Winkler) led by the Primary Stages Artistic Team, who will share their insight that comes from an intimate connection with these playwrights.

Thursdays from 6:30pm – 9:30pm

September 20, 27, October 4, 11, November 1, 8, 15, 29, December 6, 13

Returning Students: $500 / New Students: $560

Scene Study (now offered in a 5-week format!)

Instructor: Quentin Earl Darrington (Actor, Once on this Island and Ragtime on Broadway)

In this 5-week accelerated scene study class, you will fearlessly dive headfirst into scene work, with no time for hesitation.

Tuesdays from 11:00am – 2:00pm

October 23, 30, November 6, 13, 20

Returning Students: $360 / New Students: $400

The Contemporary Monologue

Instructor: Richard Topol (Actor, Broadway’s Indecent (as Lemml), Fish in the Dark, The Normal Heart)

Having the right monologue is key to showcasing your abilities as an actor and ultimately getting hired. This class seeks to match actors with audition material that makes them shine.

Tuesdays from 10:00am – 1:00pm

September 18, 25, October 2, 9, 16

Returning Students: $260 / New Students: $320

Shakespeare at the Table

Instructor: Geoffrey Owens (Actor, Broadway’s Romeo and Juliet (with Orlando Bloom); HBO’s “Divorce”)

Discover how Shakespearean language works by using renowned classical actor and teacher Geoffrey Owens’ non-intimidating approach to dissecting text.

Wednesdays from 6:20pm – 9:20pm

September 19, 26, October 3, 10, 17

Returning Students: $260 / New Students: $320

Shakespeare on Your Feet

Instructor: Geoffrey Owens (Actor, Broadway’s Romeo and Juliet (with Orlando Bloom); HBO’s “Divorce”)

Once you’ve conquered the text on the page, it’s time to get up and explore Shakespeare’s text as he intended it: performed.

Wednesdays from 6:20pm – 9:20pm

October 24, 31, November 7, 14, 28

Returning Students: $260 / New Students: $320

Solo Performance

Instructor: Judy Gold (Actor/Co-Writer, The Judy Show at DR2 Theatre; Actor, The Taming of the Shrew at The Public)

Like other brave solo performers who have come before you, this class will guide you through the process of telling your personal story on stage.

Thursdays from 10:00am – 1:00pm

September 20, 27, October 4, 11, 18, 25, November 1, 8

Returning Students: $480 / New Students: $500

Alexander Technique for Auditions

Instructor: Karen Braga (Acting Faculty, NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts)

Imagine being able to walk into any audition feeling grounded, confident, and centered. The Alexander Technique teaches performers how to release habitual tension for an experience of more freedom, poise, and presence.

Tuesdays from 6:30pm – 9:30pm

November 6, 13, 20, 27, December 4, 11

Returning Students: $260 / New Students: $320

Workshop: The Voiceover with Sharon Washington

Instructor: Sharon Washington (Feeding the Dragon at Primary Stages, The Scottsboro Boys on Broadway)

Recording voiceover work from your own home is one of those unique side-hustles that is lucrative, flexible, and even artistically fulfilling! Learn the skills necessary to successfully record voiceover for commercial and audiobook work.

Tuesday, August 14 and Wednesday, August 15

6:30pm – 9:30pm both days

Returning & New Students: $160

 

Primary Stages ESPA provides students easy and convenient payment plans to break up tuition. 

For more information, download the complete course descriptions hereTo register, email us with your desired class at espa@primarystages.org, or call 212.840.9705 x215. 

PBS Masterpiece Little Women Episode 3 Recap

Welcome back! Here is Daria Buvanova’s recap of Little Women Episode 3. (Missed our earlier recaps? Catch up on Episode 1 and Episode 2.)

A year has passed. Meg is pregnant and she is HUGE. Seriously. There is some concern but she gives birth to two healthy babies, a boy and a girl. John says he has everything he might ever need. Tear.

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Amy continues to spend time with Aunt March and she eventually is invited to travel Europe to keep her cousin Flo company. Naturally, Jo is pissed. It has always been her dream to travel but it’s her own fault really. If she had been nicer to mean old Aunt March, she could’ve gone to Europe herself. But nevertheless, Amy departs for Europe leaving Jo and the March family behind.

Now, Jo and Beth are the only sisters left in the house. Beth is sad and Jo decides that is because she is in love with Laurie. Seems far-fetched, doesn’t it? It’s like she hasn’t been paying attention like we all have. Meanwhile, Laurie professes his love for Jo. He even cries. It’s a bit uncomfortable and Jo’s not a fan so she resolves that she can no longer stay in her small hometown and heads to New York as a governess.

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There she meets Professor Bhaer (Mark Stanley) who is raising his nephews on his own. It seems like the two of them can be happy together; as if Professor Bhaer understands Jo better than anyone else. Jo saves money to take Beth to the beach. She promises Professor Bhaer that she’ll be back to New York eventually but once with Beth, Jo learns that Beth is dying. You’ll shed a tear or five or an entire rainforest when you realize that Beth has accepted death and that Jo will stay to take care of Beth until the end. Have a box of tissues ready, you’ll need it.

Meanwhile, Amy is still in Europe where she meets with… Laurie!! Surprise, surprise! The two of them begin to spend time together and he keeps her company when Beth dies.

Jo doesn’t return to New York after all. She mourns her sister and takes care of her parents. Then, she learns that Amy and Laurie are engaged. (TBH, they seem like a better fit.) They return from Europe not engaged, but already married. Jo seems sincerely happy for them. She and Laurie have a moment as they say goodbye to their past. He says he loves her like a sister and he loves Amy like he used to love her. A little creepy. He wants to be friends like they were before but Jo says that they can’t since they are no longer kids. Things change. I guess it truly is a coming-of-age story.

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Aunt March has a stroke and Jo goes to visit her. For the first time ever, the two of them seem to get along. On her way home, Jo runs into Professor Bhaer. He confesses his love for her and Jo invites him inside. Everyone likes him. Then the show fast forwards a few years. Aunt March has died and left her house to Jo. She and Professor Bhaer use it as a school for boys. (Really, Jo… only boys?) Amy and Laurie have a daughter of their own. Everyone looks very happy and at peace.

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And that wraps up Little Women from PBS Masterpiece. Watching has been more fun than eating pickled lemons, that’s for sure! And now we’ll just have to wait to see Kate Hamill’s take on this classic story in the spring here at Primary Stages. Click here for info on subscriptions to guarantee those tickets.

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