Ivoryton – It is summer, 1961, and in Celestial, Alabama, it’s hotter’n a blister bug in a pepper patch. It is especially steamy in the kitchen of the Sage household where the matriarch, Ida, has gathered her friends around her to meet the new girl in town. How will Rose from Ohio fit in with the ladies of Celestial who bake pies, sell Avon and belong to the Ku Klux Klan?
THE QUEENS OF THE GOLDEN MASK, a world premiere, opens at the Ivoryton Playhouse on October 31st and runs through November 18th, 2019. Carole Lockwood’s brand new play pulls aside the Cotton Curtain to reveal a hidden piece of history that tells a little known story and also raises a warning. The normalizing of hate is dangerous and toxic – not only to the objects of the hatred but eventually destroying those who are unwittingly caught up in its comfortable complacency.
The play is based on the experiences of Elizabeth H. Cobbs/Petric Smith who wrote the autobiographical Long Time Coming: An Insiders Story of the Birmingham Church Bombing that Rocked the World. Smith’s work provides more than an insider’s account of one of the most atrocious events of the civil rights era; it is also the personal journey of a woman inside the world of the most extreme opponents of racial justice. In the violent world of the Klan, women were subservient; men beat their wives with impunity in order to sustain white male supremacy. Most women were partners in the goal of maintaining white supremacy but there were many who, quietly and with great moral courage, put their lives on the line. This is their story.
Carole Lockwood is an actor and writer who has performed all over the country, on and off Broadway, but it was a challenge from David Mamet that prompted her to sit down and write a play. She has been writing ever since. Carole has written five plays; Basic Cable; The Lone Star Princess; and three scripts based in the civil rights movement, “the girls” of Red Tears (the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church), The Mary Band Road Show (the Selma-to-Montgomery March) and The Queens of the Golden Mask. Up on the Roof (rooftops after Hurricane Katrina) is currently in the works.
The cast includes Bonnie Black*, Bethany Fitzgerald*, Jes Bedwinek, and Anna Fagan who have all appeared at Ivoryton, and Ellen Barry*, Gerrianne Genga* and Sarah Jo Provost* who will be making their Ivoryton debut.
The production is directed by Jacqueline Hubbard, Ivoryton’s Artistic Director, with set design by Daniel Nischan, lighting design by Marcus Abbott and costume design by Elizabeth Saylor Cipollina.
THE QUEENS OF THE GOLDEN MASK opens at the Ivoryton Playhouse on October 31st and runs through November 18th, 2018. Performance times are Wednesday and Sunday matinees at 2pm. Evening performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30pm, Friday and Saturday at 8pm.
There will be a talk back with the cast and director plus guests after every performance on Wednesday and Thursday evenings.
Tickets are $55 for adults; $50 for seniors; $25 for students and $20 for children and are available by calling the Playhouse box office at 860-767-7318 or by visiting our website at www.ivorytonplayhouse.org
(Group rates are available by calling the box office for information.) The Playhouse is located at 103 Main Street in Ivoryton.
Members of the press are welcome at any performance after November 1st, 2018
*denotes member of Actors Equity
Photographs by Jonathan Steele