Unlikely friendship: 'Trying' closes Palm Beach Dramaworks season

Kelly McCready and Dennis Creaghan in "Trying," which runs from May 24 to June 9 at Palm Beach Dramaworks.
Kelly McCready and Dennis Creaghan in "Trying," which runs from May 24 to June 9 at Palm Beach Dramaworks.
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The art of communication is explored in the final show of the Palm Beach Dramaworks season, “Trying,” which opens May 24 and runs through June 9.

First presented at Dramaworks in the 2006-7 season, this new production of Joanna McClelland Glass’ 2004 play marks Dramaworks’ first-ever revival.

“Though it didn’t consciously dawn on me when I put together the 2023-24 season, in retrospect I believe I was drawn to ‘Trying’ because it’s about something that seems to be a lost skill these days: the art of communication,” said William Hayes, the West Palm Beach-based theatrical troupe’s producing artistic director, in a prepared statement.

“Trying,” which is the Canadian writer’s most-performed play, tells the story of two people: Sarah Schorr, a young Canadian who goes to work in 1967 for 81-year-old Francis Biddle, who was the U.S. attorney general during World War II under President Franklin Roosevelt and later the chief judge at the Nuremberg trials. The play chronicles their efforts to communicate across a wide gap of age, background and physical health as Biddle struggles to write his memoir.

Starring in the production will be actress Kelly McCready as Sarah, making her Dramaworks debut. Biddle will be played by Dramaworks veteran Dennis Creaghan. Hayes will direct.

Glass drew the play from her own experience working for Biddle, who died in 1968, and first wrote a one-act version of the story in 1970.

“We spent our months together ‘trying’ to negotiate and span our enormous differences of youth and age, of class and culture,” Glass wrote of her experience in an introduction to the play.

Over the course the play, both characters find themselves changed by their time together, as one faces the end of his life and the other faces a future full of uncertainties and possibilities.

The play will be at the Don and Ann Brown Theatre, 201 Clematis St., in downtown West Palm Beach. Evening performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m., and Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. Matinee performances are Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday at 2 .pm.

Tickets for all performances are $89, except for opening night ($104) and previews ($69). Student tickets are available for $15 with a valid K-12 or university/college ID, and anyone under 40 pays $40 (no additional fees) with a photo ID. Tickets can be had through the box office, in person or by phone (561-514-4042, ext. 2), or by visiting palmbeachdramaworks.org.     

This article originally appeared on Palm Beach Post: Dramaworks closes its season with two-hander 'Trying'