People’s Light Presents Grand Horizons: See the Family Drama That’s Captivating Audiences

Bess WohlBess Wohl (Submitted Image)

MALVERN, PA — People’s Light presents Grand Horizons—Bess Wohl’s 2020 Tony Award Nominee for Best Play—onstage August 3-28. Over a quiet dinner for two, Bill and Nancy serenely decide to divorce after fifty years of marriage. While Nancy feels liberated and Bill seems unfazed, their adult sons Brian and Ben don’t exactly take it well. As the “kids” descend on the Grand Horizons senior living community in an attempt to mediate, everything they thought they knew about their parents comes crashing down. Grand Horizons is a hilarious, heartbreaking commentary on marriage, family, and the wisdom that comes with age—or not.

Bess Wohl is a nationally acclaimed playwright and screenwriter whose work has been nominated for Tony, Drama League, Lucille Lortel, and Drama Desk awards, to name a few, and has reached top ten lists in The New York Times, The New York Post, and The Guardian. Wohl’s work last appeared on the People’s Light stage in 2013’s highly successful Barcelona, also directed by Jackson Gay, who returns to helm Grand Horizons. “What I love about Bess’ writing is her great ability to find humor in the everyday,” shares Gay. “Her work is full of compassion for human beings, and Grand Horizons is no exception. The play explores characters who simply want to be seen, and all the hilarious ways they try to make that happen.”

“We’re thrilled to be working with Bess and Jackson again,” says People’s Light Producing Artistic Director Zak Berkman. “What’s especially exciting about this production is that Grand Horizons can trace some of its origins back to People’s Light. While working on another play, Bess came here for a mini playwright residency during which she visited local senior living facilities to interview residents about marriage, romance, and sex at that stage in their lives. That original script never came to fruition, but some of its DNA became Grand Horizons.”

“Another early inspiration for Grand Horizons emerged from conversations I had with several friends whose parents were going through a divorce in their mid-70s,” adds Wohl. “This cultural phenomenon—dubbed ‘gray divorce’—piqued my interest.

“I always look for stories I’ve never seen onstage before, and there is a void in our culture when it comes to portrayals of older people, especially older women. We often see these characters pushed to the sidelines and denied the full scope of their humanity. With this play, I wanted to bring them center stage.”

Grand Horizons stars People’s Light company members Peter DeLaurier (Our Town, For Peter Pan on Her 70th Birthday, Morning’s at Seven) and Marcia Saunders (The Children, For Peter Pan on Her 70th Birthday, Morning’s at Seven) as Bill and Nancy. The remaining cast all make their People’s Light debuts: Dante Alexander as Ben, Jenelle Chu as Jess, Luis Augusto Figueroa as Tommy, Zuleyma Guevara as Carla, and Brian McManamon as Brian.

Jackson Gay (Barcelona, End Days) returns to direct. Paul Whitaker serves as both Scenic and Lighting Designer. Katherine Roth designs costumes, Broken Chord designs sound, Colleen Hughes serves as Intimacy Director, and Liana Irvine is Production Dramaturg. Company member Kate McSorley Fossner is Stage Manager, and Saladin White II serves as COVID Compliance Manager.

Grand Horizons previews Wednesday, August 3; Thursday, August 4; Friday, August 5; and Saturday, August 6. The play opens with an invite-only performance on Sunday, August 7 and runs through Sunday, August 28. Standard tickets start at $45, including fees. People’s Light also offers a range of ticket discounts, like a 50%-off Access Night on Tuesday, August 23 at 7:30pm, 25% off for educators and military, and discounted student and instrustry rush tickets. Learn more about available ticket discounts here. To purchase single tickets, visit peopleslight.org or call the Box Office at 610.644.3500.

Special rates are available for groups of 10 or more. For more information, or to purchase group tickets, call Kelly Benedict at 610.647.1900, x111, or email [email protected] . Grand Horizons is recommended for ages 13+ for mature themes.

Masks are required indoors for everyone who visits People’s Light, regardless of vaccination status. Audience members must remain masked at all times. For more information on policies at People’s Light, including new seating arrangements, audience capacity, and artist and staff safety, visit peopleslight.org. Recommended protocols may shift with evolving local and national guidelines, so please continue to the website for the most up-to-date information when planning your visit to People’s Light.

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