Alan Cravick’s 86-year-old mother, Fran, broke her foot, and upon her discharge from the hospital she was instructed to stay off of it. This requires an in-home caregiver, and Alan – an intellectual property rights attorney who happens to be in a constant state of agitation at work – does not approve of the woman his mother’s pals have chosen for the task.
These are the events that launch the plot of Soup, a dark comedy by New York playwright David Zarko. It’s the first show of 2022 for Ybor City’s LAB Theatre project, opening tonight (with a fundraising preview performance) and running through March 13.
Pamela Wilson-Caruthers plays Felicity, the designated caregiver. Alan’s stress level rises when he discovers that not only is she homeless, but has a history of drugs and alcohol … and other things.
The production also features Larry Corwin, Mary Kay Cyrus, Suzy Duic and Robert Dox.
As is the custom with LAB, bringing Soup to the stage was a collaborative process of online cast readings and meetings with Zarko, resulting in back-and-forth suggestions and tweaks. “Throughout the process,” said company founder Owen Robertson, “LAB always puts the playwright’s vision first in all decisions, which empowers the playwright to reject suggestions from LAB or accept suggestions that improve the script and story.”
The director is Kara Gold-Harris.
Via email, Zarko told the Catalyst that “the process with LAB strengthened the script a lot, was very congenial, and immensely valuable.”
Zarko, who currently resides in Orvieto, Italy, declined to say what he wanted audiences to take away from Soup. “I’m telling a story here based on life experience,” he said, “sharing it if you will. Maybe it will remind you of something. At any rate, you will draw your own conclusions.”
All tickets and additional information here.