By Annie Stockmal and Rebecca Amrick
Falvey Graduate Assistants Rebecca Amrick and Annie Stockmal had the pleasure of seeing Villanova Theatre’s latest production Posterity, and we left with high praises!
Written by playwright Wendy MacLeod, Posterity follows the stories of three families in (literal) snapshots through time as they live, love, and experience loss. It demonstrates that although the props around us, like our technologies and clothing, might change throughout time, the universal experience of living and losing and “the universal longing to freeze time and cling to those we hold dear” is a tale as old as perhaps time itself (and certainly since the inception of photography).
Here are Annie’s and Rebecca’s unique takes on the play:
Annie: In the post-performance talk-back that I attended on Sunday, Nov. 12, playwright Wendy MacLeod said that the bad elevator pitch for Posterity was, “it’s about photography and death.” While that’s certainly not an inaccurate synopsis of the play, it does not do it justice.
Posterity tackles a lot of difficult, yet all too common and relatable, topics in its 75-minute runtime, including death, suicide, mental health treatment and facilities, the ethics of photography, and love, and it does so with care, poignancy, and even, sometimes, humor. It evokes the sentimentality and nostalgia of looking back at the past while capturing the way our moments often fly by us in the present.
MacLeod mentioned in the talk-back that writing this play was a balancing act of toeing the line between mentally exhausting the audience and moving them. While it is certainly a somber, at times difficult, viewing experience, I believe MacLeod, Director Edward Sobel, and all six of the performers succeeded in moving and not exhausting.
Rebecca: Posterity is an incredibly moving and thought-provoking play that addresses serious themes in a respectful yet light-hearted manner. Inspired by the use of photography to memorialize incidents and people, the play takes commemoration to another level by allowing the audience to see snapshots of people’s lives. The role of commemoration in Posterity depicts how pictures sustain and shape memory.
The play is performed by six actors, so most of them play multiple characters. This dual-role helps establish connections between the three families and provides the audience with a visual representation of how the act of living is the same throughout the course of human history. Life, love, and loss are features inherent to humanity, and these powerful experiences pertain to every human being, no matter the time or place.
To learn more about Posterity and its cast and crew and to hear from the Production Dramaturg, check out this virtual playbill.
To find prompts for discussion or contemplation and content guides and warnings for the production, check out the education guide.
If you want to hear directly from the playwright herself, read our interview with Wendy MacLeod on the blog.
Tickets for Posterity are available for purchase here. Get yours now!
Annie Stockmal is a second-year graduate student in the Communication Department and Graduate Assistant in Falvey Library.
Rebecca Amrick is a first year graduate student in the English Department and a Graduate Assistant at Falvey Library.