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Graceland

"Graceland" opens June 13 at Canterbury Summer Theatre in Michigan City

David Graham, director of Michigan City’s Canterbury Theatre’s “Graceland,” says audiences will experience a myriad of emotions throughout his production of the award-winning play.

“It’s very funny, it’s very real, it’s touching and it’s sometimes sad,” he said. “It’s just a beautiful play.”

Opening June 13 and running through June 16, “Graceland” is the tale of middle aged siblings Sara and Sam, who come together during a Chicago summer in search of answers following the tragic death of their father. In their search, they make acquaintance with Miles and Joe, a divorced father and son who have issues of their own to sort out.

“Graceland” was penned by Ellen Fairey, whose writing and producing credits include small screen shows such as “Masters of Sex” and “Nurse Jackie.” Fairey’s next stage creation, “Support Group for Men,” is scheduled to open at Chicago’s Goodman Theatre June 23.

“Graceland” received a Jeff Award for Best New Play in 2010 and also received raves when it ran that year at New York’s Lincoln Center Theater.

“It’s this little jewel of a play,” said Graham, who also serves as Canterbury’s associate artistic director. “It taps into the relationships between adult children and their adult parents who unexpectedly die. Sometimes there are unresolved issues, and it can sometimes complicate the grieving process that adult children go through.”

Annie Barker is Sara and Andrew Buel is Sam in Canterbury’s Graceland. The cast is rounded out by Jesse Kortus as Miles, Andrew Palmintier as Joe and Rosa Campbell as Sam’s estranged girlfriend, Anna.

Due to adult themes, “Graceland” is not recommended for young audiences.

“Graceland” kicks off Canterbury’s 2018 Summer Theatre season and is also celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. Other productions slated for Canterbury’s 2018 season include “The Bikinis,”  scheduled to open June 20, “End of The Rainbow,” which opens July 5, “Tick, Tick, Boom,” which opens July 18 and “A Texas Romance,” which opens Aug. 2.

A free preview of Canterbury’s upcoming season is scheduled for 6 p.m. June 10 with a light meal served at 4:30 p.m.

“I think it’s really exciting,” Graham said of their 2018 lineup. “We’ve been, especially for the last few years, concentrating on works that haven’t really been seen in the area that are great pieces. (the 2018 productions) are all new to Canterbury, and it’s gratifying to present these works to audiences.”

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