by Nancy Holley
Special KRL coupon code at the end of this article.
The Outgoing Tide begins its three week run this Friday, April 1, at the Ice House Theatre in Visalia. The Visalia Players are proud to present this timely drama of family relationships.
Gunner and Peg have been married for fifty years. Although not formally educated, Gunner has provided well for his wife and their son Jack. With the help of a lawyer friend, he has carefully managed and invested his resources, resulting in a comfortable retirement life style.
After living in the city all their lives, they have retired to their summer home on Chesapeake Bay where Gunner can enjoy boating and fishing, and Peg has the pleasure of her gardening. However, storm clouds are entering their seemingly idyllic life. Gunner is starting to have memory issues, and both he and Peg are struggling to adjust to this new aspect of their lives.
Gunner, portrayed by Keith Lindersmith, has always prided himself on being in charge, being able to solve any problem presented to him. Lindersmith noted, “Gunner loves Peg very much and is very dependent on her at this point in his life which is difficult for him. He has always been the provider and made the major decisions.”
When Gunner and Peg started their marital journey, Peg was a typical housewife/stay-at-home mom of the post WWII era. Irene Morse described Peg’s relationship with Gunner. “Over the course of their fifty years together, Peg has become more Gunner’s equal, but hasn’t lost the near hero-worship she once had for him.” Peg’s reliance over the years on Gunner as the person in charge makes her current situation almost unbearable.
Their son Jack had dreams of becoming a chef, perhaps owning a restaurant or a bed and breakfast, but as the son of a blue collar worker in Philadelphia such a future was not acceptable. Thus, Jack has become a successful, if less than happy, business man. As might be considered typical at his age, Jack is having issues with a teenage son and his marriage. Now the added issue of his father’s health leaves him adrift. How is he to handle his complicated and changing world?
Gunner’s memory issues leave him feeling ashamed and less than a man. He is reminded that he thought Jack less than a man because of his interest in being a chef. Despite their strained relationship, he loves his son. He just has very little capacity for displaying that affection. As he says, “What the hell’d I know about bein’ a father. All Peg’s fault, ya know. That whole chef thing. Chef. Jesus. What the hell kinda job is that?”
Jack watches his father’s confusion with anguish and sorrow, but is on Gunner’s side as Peg tries to facilitate their move to an assisted living arrangement. At Peg’s request, Jack visits the facility. When she continues to prod him for his opinion, Jack finally replies, “The part where you guys would live is great. It’s the hospital part—the A Wing. I wish I hadn’t seen it. He’d be miserable there.”
Aaron Johnson sees Jack’s relationship with his mother as simple, but that with his father as very complicated. Johnson noted, “He’s a son who loves his mother unconditionally and wants to prove that he will be there for her even if she can’t see that.” Johnson continued, “With Gunner, it’s been a I’m not your friend I’m your father type relationship that Jack occasionally tries to change because he knows you can have both—a relationship where I love you is never said just vaguely implied.”
The Outgoing Tide opens at the Ice House Theater at Race and Santa Fe in Visalia at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, April 1, 2016 and runs for three weekends with evening performances at 7:30 p.m. on 4/1, 4/2, 4/8, 4/9, 4/15, and 4/16 and matinees at 2:00 p.m. on 4/3, 4/10, and 4/17. NOTE: The show contains adult content and language.
For more information about the Visalia Community Players and to purchase tickets, check out their website and KRL’s article about VCP. Tickets may also be purchased by calling 734-3900. For details about local arts groups in Tulare County, visit the Visalia Arts Consortium website.
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To purchase two tickets for the price of one, enter KRLTOT in the Have a code? box on the Buy/Redeem Tickets Reservation page via the Players website.