Rhonda's Rites of Passage
The 40+ Stage Company, true to its mission statement that calls for at least one play each season by a local playwright, selects “Rhonda’s Rites of Passage,” a hilarious comedy by Grace Ellis of Winston-Salem, to open our 2022 – 2023 season. The play is a perfect choice for our company in many ways. Age forty usually sets up passages for most. Navigating the cross-currents upon entering middle age can be fraught with challenges. Relationships change. Children leave home. Marital partners suddenly find themselves alone with one another, perhaps more than they are prepared to handle. No less so for Ellis’ heroine, Rhonda Lee.
Rhonda, sassy, bright, and talented at age 45, is still stirred by aspirations to take up acting again. She gave up a fledgling career to marry and raise a family. The long chapter of wife and mother is nearly concluded were it not for her son’s mishandling of his college finances, her health-obsessed daughter, and her self-absorbed husband. Rhonda knows what she is up against. Reinforced with support from her friends and her college drama teachers, she plans to go to New York for a year and revive the career she abandoned twenty years earlier. With the support of her college drama teacher and musician friend, she decides to tell her family. That’s when the fun begins.
Beneath the zany humor, playwright Ellis tells us that perhaps we too often settle for less. Being needed is not the same as being loved. Rhonda’s family makes it apparent that they don’t want their lives disrupted. The underlying message may well be that we unwittingly create the relationships that constrain us. Laughter provides a way out, even though Rhonda may sometimes wonder if the humor is at her expense. She has undertaken a challenge at a point in life where many settle for the status quo. Her happiness is at stake. The only question remains whether she will succeed or not.
Performances will be held September 30th, October 1st and 2nd, and the following weekend, October 7th, 8th and 9th. Friday and Saturday performances begin at 7:30PM, Sunday matinee performances begin at 2:00PM.
Mountcastle Black Box
251 North Spruce Street
Winston-Salem, NC 27101