Batavia Players tackle aging issues in latest production

Sep 21, 2015








BATAVIA — Growing older together isn’t always a picnic.

Issues pop up: “What comes next? What happens if I’m left alone?”

It’s existential stuff — but not necessarily without humor, as Norm Argulski and Peggy Marone explained Tuesday at Harvester 56 Theater.

They’re the co-leads in the latest Batavia Players’ production “About Time.” Performances beging at 7:30 p.m. tonight.

“The more we got into it, the more I was relating to it,” said Marone, who’s also directing. “It was getting a little tough ... It’s someplace we’re all going to be, whether you’re married or not.

“I’m single, I’ve been single most of my life. But whether you’re married or not, even with a parent or a best friend, or somebody in your life, you face the what-ifs when you’re by yourself.”

“About Time” is unorthodox as local plays go. The characters are an older couple known simply as “He” and “She.”

One of them is dying, and the play chronicles a series of conversations in their kitchen.

“It’s an extremely difficult play to listen to, and a difficult play to watch,” Argulski said. “However, if you listen carefully, it’s really a moving play. It’s about two people who have spent their lives together. One’s dying and the other person doesn’t want them to die, because that person will be alone.

“With older people, being alone is one of the hardest things there is,” he continued. “Dying is difficult but being alone is difficult as well. That’s the one issue that we really do address as well.”

The couple expresses their love and dissatisfaction with each other — even argue— along the way. But at the core, “He” and “She” have shared a love throughout their marriage.

“Fifty-six loooong years,” Marone said.

“I really like to call this bittersweet, because I definitely think this is perhaps an apt adjective for show,” Argulski said. “Because the audience will laugh a great deal during the show.

“But if we get an older audience here — which I’m sure that we would — I think most of the people have obviously experienced something like this in their own lifetime, with their parents or themselves.”

“About Time” will include a few, offbeat aspects.

James Barcomb will serve as a sort of stage manager-narrator, describing actions the couple would be taking inside their kitchen while they talk. The play will also feature multimedia effects showing photographs representing the couple’s memories, along with music “He” and “She” would likely enjoy.

“I’ve found that the more we’ve read it, the more we dealt with the emotions behind the words,” Marone said. “I think it’s a really good script.”

Shows are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday at Harvester 56 Theater, 56 Harvester Ave. Admission is $10 for adults and $8 for seniors and students. For more information, visit www.bata-viaplayers.org.