Posted by Molly MacLagan, Literary and Dramaturgy Intern.
If you haven’t heard any of the word-of-mouth up to now on The Morini Strad, Monday’s post will be responses from audience members who have let us know their thoughts on the show.
There’s been a lot made of the fact that The Morini Strad is inspired by a true story. But it’s not a transcription of it. Actually, the play’s center is its portrayal of the relationship between Brian Skarstad and Erica Morini. That relationship, along with the question of what happens to child prodigies after their childhoods are taken away, inspired playwright Willy Holtzman to write The Morini Strad.
Maybe you don’t know anything about violins or violin-making or music, and maybe you’ve never heard of violinist Erica Morini. Probably you’ve never heard of Brian Skarstad, the understated violin repairman hired by Morini to work on her prized Stradivarius violin. Even so, their story, as told in The Morini Strad, is one that will resonate with anyone since The Morini Strad is partially about the choices we make in our lives, and the way those choices impact us and those around us. That’s not to say that The Morini Strad is a play about regret. On the contrary, the brief but intense encounter between Erica and Brian is a reaffirmation of art and artistry, life and love, family and friendship.
Specifically, the play is about Erica, a former child prodigy–now in her old age, and her relationship to Brian, a violin-maker whose doing mostly repairs to make ends meet. Initially, there’s a back and forth in the entertaining power contest between the ego-centric diva and the skilled craftsman. But as so often happens when we take the time to get to know one another, things change. They develop a unique and unexpected friendship, learning about each other, teaching each other about themselves–and changing each other for good.
The play is supported by exemplary designs by Brad Peterson (sound), Ange Vesco (costumes), and Tony Ferrieri (set), and original music by Skarstad’s wife, composer Louise Beach. Check back for features on those elements.