The Providence Of Neighboring Bodies 

By Jean Ann Douglass. Directed by Jess Chayes. 

2/14 - 3/11 2017 at Theater 511. An Ars Nova Fling. 

It’s an exciting day for Dora here in North Providence, Rhode Island. Today is the day Dora is going to make coffee, go outside, and make friends with Ronnie. Ronnie lives in the apartment next door, her balcony just adjacent to Dora’s, both overlooking the parking lot and the weird hill across the street. Ronnie isn’t sure how she wound up living in North Providence for all these years, but here they both are, where nothing exciting has really happened since the great beaver purge of the mid-20th century. And then out of nowhere, Jane appears. Dutch Kills Theater was thrilled to present this world premiere as part of the DKDUO with Latter Days by Ben Beckley. 

Jean Ann Douglass’s The Providence of Neighboring Bodies will remind you of our
absurdist-in-chief Edward Albee. ... A surprising and wicked little concoction. ... Douglass’s play seems like a sweet little woodland creature, but
it’s got needle-like claws ... Douglass has a fine poetic ear and the actors are full of comic invention.
— Helen Shaw - Timeout, NY
Full of [the] elegant absurdity and poetry of everyday life.
— New Show New York
An astounding piece of theatre! Powerful text, strong direction, brilliant design, and phenomenal performances. .... Smart and heartbreaking and agonizing. ... Jean Ann Douglass has written a sophisticated text ... makes for compulsive viewing. ... extremely satisfying. ... Douglass’ writing is remarkable ... Director Jess Chayes has crafted an exquisite gem full of nuanced moments and potent character interactions. Her gifted hand can be seen in the clever staging and perfectly paced tension lines between the character’s inner turmoil and outward facade. ... Lori Parquet as Dora has the most sensational ability to visualize and take you along for the ride. ... She totally hypnotizes you with her visual gaze. You can read every emotion and thought in her dilated pupils. She played the sensual, self-absorbed Dora with hedonistic pleasure and commanded the space with her vitality. ... Amy Staats as Ronnie was brilliantly neurotic. It felt like she might spontaneously combust from all of the pent up repressed energy she has been weighed with for her entire life. She played a fantastic tight, held counterpoint to
Dora’s languidness. Staats is a magnetic performer that has created a heartbreaking character that’s on the very edge of the cliff, about to snap and leap off. I loved the interplay between these two powerhouse actresses. ... Dinah Berkeley as Jane was a quirky, instantaneously lovable character. Berkeley gave us a well-observed physical characterization for Jane with a great ability to play the melancholy under the sunny façade. She was totally engaging in the role of the outsider, trying hard to fit in with her cheerful disposition and heartbreaking naivety. ... Carolyn Mraz’s set design was exceptional. ... This is an intelligent production that has stayed with me. ... a brilliant satirical
metaphor that will ensure its longevity as a defining text.
— nytheatreguide.com
Delightfully beautiful ... delectable writing ... a quirky dramedy that strikes the right chord. Douglass has an innate ability when it comes storytelling. There’s a specificity to the characters and how the talk to one another and to the audience. There’s a heightened sense of theatricality that Douglass infuses into her play and even when the story takes a surrealist turn, Douglass’ voice is still prominent. Monologue plays are hard. Douglass has destroyed that notion... As Dora, Lori Parquet bubbles optimism with a radiating smile... Parquet is a natural storyteller, with a soothing vocal. Give her a phone book and she’ll make it sound like poetry. Directed by Jess Chayes, The Providence of Neighboring Bodies was a consistently touching. Chayes allowed the words to marinate as they floated through the space. She insured Douglass’ specificity of dialogue told the story that was found on the page. ... The Providence of Neighboring Bodies is a rare beauty. Jean Ann Douglass has crafted a play that exemplifies human connection in a manner that is subtle yet profound.
— Theater in the Now
★★★★★
— Opplaud.com
A BEST BET
Jean Ann Douglass’ bizarre effervescent little play unfurls slowly like a magical flower.
— Theatre Is Easy
Featuring a powerhouse cast of only three and a truly thought-provoking plot that gets more intricate the more I think about it, Providence brings a lot of great artistic decisions together in such a small space, and in so short a time. ... There is so much about this play that really grows on you the more you try to weave your way through its seeming simplicity. ... A play that asks the audience to think outside the box and ... A rather intriguing production which audiences will find as interesting during as after the show has ended.
— Broadway World
The three actors (Lori Elizabeth Parquet, Amy Staats and Dinah Berkeley) gave heartfelt performances on a clever set with interesting staging. An hour well spent.
— offbway.com
Ms. Berkeley was perfect... Ms. Parquet is wonderful. She is the perfect blend of joyous enthusiasm and confidence in who she is. ... Ms. Douglass writing is very interesting and the play peals down the layers of friendships, loneliness and prejudice. Ms. Douglass has a lot to say and it hits home in subtle through lines. ... The set by Carolyn Mraz, lightening by Derek Wright and the staging by Ms Chayes were perfect for the piece. This is a company, actress and playwright to keep your eyes on.
— Times Square Chronicles
A truly mesmerizing performance from Lori Elizabeth Parquet as Dora. Parquet is herself so sunny that we are luxuriate in her mindless prattle. ... Douglass’ comedy is so entertaining it isn’t until afterward that you realize it is a tragedy about America in its present chaos. That’s theater magic.
— Theater Pizzazz
Berkeley, Parquet, and Staats are beautifully cast, each wildly different from each other yet able to engage the audience on their personal journey... Quirky, wonderful original music from Chris Chappell ... Through Jean Ann Douglass’ charming script, a basic conversation feels thrilling and definitely out of the ordinary. Human interaction takes on a joyful and celebratory quality that is equal parts delightful and lonely. The Providence of Neighboring Bodies packs quite a big punch, and leaves you pondering some bigger questions on the way out the door.
— New York Theatre Reveiw
Jean Ann Douglass - Playwright

Jean Ann Douglass - Playwright

Jess Chayes - Director

Jess Chayes - Director

Allison Raynes - Stage Manager

Allison Raynes - Stage Manager

Lori Parquet - Dora

Lori Parquet - Dora

Amy Staats - Ronnie

Amy Staats - Ronnie

Dinah Berkeley - Jane

Dinah Berkeley - Jane

Alley Scott - Producer 

Alley Scott - Producer 

Carolyn Mraz - Set Designer 

Carolyn Mraz - Set Designer 

Evan Prizant - Costume Designer 

Evan Prizant - Costume Designer 

Derek Wright - Lighting Designer 

Derek Wright - Lighting Designer 

Asa Wember - Sound Designer 

Asa Wember - Sound Designer 

Chris Chappell - Composer

Chris Chappell - Composer

Carl Whipple - Technical Director 

Carl Whipple - Technical Director 

Brian Lenahan - Production Assistant 

Brian Lenahan - Production Assistant 

Laura Ramdei - Marketing Consultat

Laura Ramdei - Marketing Consultat

Eric John Meyer - Copy Editor

Eric John Meyer - Copy Editor

Chris Genovese - Photographer 

Chris Genovese - Photographer 

 

The Workshop

WORKSHOP June 2nd 2015. Cap 21 Studios.  

After its great success in the 2014 Loose Leaf Reading Series, Dutch Kills Theater happily produced  a week long workshop of this strange and feminine piece featuring Kate Benson, Anna Abhau Elliott and Anne Gridley. Design by Sara C. Walsh

Jean Ann Douglass - Playwright

Jean Ann Douglass - Playwright

Jess Chayes - Director

Jess Chayes - Director

Tegan Ritz McDuffy - Stage Manager

Tegan Ritz McDuffy - Stage Manager

Kate Benson - Dora

Kate Benson - Dora

Anne Gridley  - Ronnie

Anne Gridley  - Ronnie

Anna Abhau Elliott - Jane

Anna Abhau Elliott - Jane

Sara Walsh - Designer

Sara Walsh - Designer

Alley Scott -  Producer

Alley Scott -  Producer