*Time and the Conways,* 11/14/17
Richard and I saw *Time and the Conways* on 11/14/17. It's a play by J. B. Priestly from 1937. It dramatizes Dunne's Theory of Time, which said that time isn't linear, that the past, the present, and the future all happen simultaneously. The setting is an English country house, the home of the Conways, an upper middle class family. The first act takes place in 1919, the second in 1937, the third back in 1919, immediately after the end of the first act.
The first act is frothy and light, the family is hosting a party and they're all having a lovely time. Things have turned sour by 1937, and we see how the characters have all become petty and embittered. The time overlap element of the play happens in the third act - - the central daughter of the family wakes up from a nap at the start of the act, and we have the impression that she's been dreaming of the future, aka Act Two. She spends the rest of the act disturbed by the things she's learned.
Our reason for seeing the play was the return to Broadway by Elizabeth McGovern, as Mrs. Conway, the mother of the clan. She gave a good performance, she did an especially good job of communicating the difference between a woman pushing 50 and a woman pushing 70. The star of the play was the director, Rebecca Taichman, who also directed *Indecent* (which I loved so much). She and set designer Neil Patel did an incredible job with the transition from 1919 to 1937: the 1919 set slowly moved to the back of the stage and the 1937 set came down from above, resting in front of 1919, with a scrim along the back wall, so we could dimly see the 1919 living room behind it. One of the characters remained onstage in the 1919 set throughout the act, sort of haunting the future. It gave an extra layer of meaning, and added depth to the time overlap concept.