Things I Know To Be True

a poignant and powerful family portrait

photos by Michael Brosilow

Above: Actor Kevin Kantor  as Mia. 

Under the direction of Mark Clements, Australian playwright Andrew Bovell’s poignant and powerful script is making its American premiere. A co-production of Arizona Theatre Company and Milwaukee Repertory Company, Things I Know To Be True opens at the Herberger Theater on Thursday, May 16. Hailed by London’s Daily Telegraph as “Five Stars! A thing of beauty. An absolute gem,” the play follows a year in the life of the Price Family.

Above: The role of Bob Price is portrayed by Bill Geisslinger.

 

We meet working-class parents Bob and Fran who have scrimped and saved all their lives to give their four children the things they never had. Now that the kids are grown and ready to leave the nest, the couple looks forward to enjoying their golden years. Much to their surprise, they learn of their adult children’s struggles with living life as they see it while attempting to fulfill the expectations of their loving mom and dad. Facing the drama of infidelity, missed opportunities, identity crisis and corporate crime, there’s a lot of baggage for the family to deal with. 

Above: The tree in the Price’s backyard serves as an indicator of the changing seasons. 

 

Also woven in the span of these four seasons, the audience will witness the couple’s thoughts of what love looks like after 30 years of marriage, the mixed emotions involved when children grow up and leave home and the relationships between mothers and daughters, fathers and sons. Things I Know To Be True is a searing look at the ups-and-downs of familial ties and a testament to the idea that, despite painful confessions and deeply-felt disappointments, family remains an unbreakable bond.

Above: Left to right; Actors Bill Geissinger, Jordan Baker, Zach Fifer and Aubyn Heglie in ATC’s Things I Know To Be True.

These feelings certainly are relatable, so odds are that many of these musings will strike a chord with the audience. Delivered with humor and lightness, the play is also profoundly moving and brutally frank. Things I Know To Be True focuses on life’s grey areas and forces audiences to focus on that as well. Like life, the play is a roller coaster of emotions…but it’s a beautiful ride and well worth the effort.  

Things I Know To Be True

May 16 – June 2

Arizona Theatre Company

www.arizonatheatre.org