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arts & leisure

Liberty Free premieres Askew play


July 21, 2011

Liberty Free premieres Askew play

LIBERTY, NY — The Liberty Free Theatre will present the world premiere of “Strange Business,” a new play by award-winning novelist and playwright Rilla Askew, on Thursday through Sunday, July 28 through 31 and August 4 through 7. The play was adapted for the stage by the author from the title story in her short story collection. Author Askew is featured in the cast.

Directed by Paul Austin, the play examines the difficulties of facing old age and mortality in the hardscrabble life of small, rural towns with humor, sorrow and compassion. Eunice Mabry comes to the auction barn of old James Hardwell “Cotton” Sanger on an urgent matter only to find the frail and grieving Sanger is of no help, and each of them comes to realize in their own way that the business of living is strange indeed. Performances are Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. with Sunday matinees at 3 p.m.

Askew received a 2009 Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She’s the author of three novels and a book of stories, including an award-winning novel about the Tulsa Race Riot, “Fire in Beulah.” Austin has had a long and varied career acting and directing on and off Broadway, Off-Off Broadway, summer stock and regional theatres around the nation, as well as acting for television, including roles on West Wing and Law and Order, and in a number of films.

Seating is limited and reservations are recommended. The audience is invited to gather after the performance for food, drink, and music. The theatre is located at 109 South Main Street, Liberty. Call 845/292-3788 for reservations and information.