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The Arts

‘The Children’ explores generational responsibility

BRATTLEBORO—Over the last two weekends in March, the Apron Theater Company will present The Children, a play by Lucy Kirkwood, at the Hooker-Dunham Theater, 139 Main Street.

The Apron Theater Company has produced important plays, modern and classic, including Top Girls, Other Desert Cities, and Mother Courage for more than a decade. Directed by Karla Baldwin, The Children brings actors Christopher Coutant, Gay Maxwell, and Jim Maxwell back on stage for the first time since Apron’s 2019 production of Tartuffe.

Tony-nominated and winner of the U.K. Writer’s Guild Award for Best Play, The Children is a provocative piece asking challenging questions well suited for our cultural moment and timeless in its meditations on aging and responsibility.

In a small cottage on a seacoast of England, three retired nuclear engineers grapple with the personal and societal consequences of a deadly accident that has occurred at the nearby nuclear power station where they worked together for years.

Rose (played by Coutant) has returned from abroad to visit Hazel and Robin (Gay and Jim Maxwell), a married couple who have chosen to remain close to the power station despite the dangers. Their pasts intimately linked, these three grapple with the tangled knot of responsibility presented by the accident and its consequences for the next generation. Who should clean up this mess?

“With humor and pathos, Kirkwood deftly braids the personal and the political as her characters struggle through their fierce convictions, old wounds, and love for one another,” say event organizers.

Performances are scheduled for Thursdays through Saturdays, March 23 through 25 and March 30 through April 1, at 7:30 p.m., with one matinee on Sunday, March 26, at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $15, cash or check only, at the door. Masks are to be worn in the theater. To reserve tickets, call 802-490-3959 or email Walk-ins are welcome.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #706 (Wednesday, March 15, 2023). This story appeared on page B6.

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