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Award-winning ‘Heidi Chronicles’ Explores Life Changes

March 27, 2014

“Every scene takes place a few years apart from the previous scene. Because of this, we get to see the big picture of the choices made by all of the characters instead of the usual few days or few year span.” — Tara Riedel

The Alma College Theatre Department explores life changes in a constantly shifting world during its final production of the academic year, the Pulitzer Prize-winning “Heidi Chronicles.”

Show times are 8 p.m. Thursday, April 10 through Saturday, April 12 and 3 p.m. Sunday, April 13 in the Remick Heritage Center, Strosacker Theatre. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for seniors age 62 and older, and free for Alma College students, staff and youth age 18 and younger.

Seating for the show is reserved. Call (989) 463-7304 for more ticket information.

The 1989 play by Wendy Wasserstein follows the life of Heidi Holland, a successful art historian, as she tries to find her place in a world that is rapidly changing. Heidi watches her group of friends move away from the idealism and political radicalism of their early years, through militant feminism and eventually, back to the materialism they had sought to reject.

Director Tara Riedel says this play presents difficulties to the cast that are unlike any they have faced in her five years with the theatre department.

“Every scene takes place a few years apart from the previous scene,” she says. “Because of this, we get to see the big picture of the choices made by all of the characters instead of the usual few days or few year span.

“Since the actors can’t physically age from scene to scene, the challenge presented is much different than any other play we have explored before. They have to undergo a massive change in their minds every single scene,” she says.

Riedel believes that audience members will be able to relate to the play and the changes that Heidi goes through over several years.

“None of us have the exact same ideals or opinions that we did last year, much less three years ago,” she says. “That is one of the big reasons I like working on this play specifically. I am fascinated by the changes that we experience throughout our lives — changes that are imperceptible until we look back a few years.”

There is a clear message that people should receive from watching this play, says Riedel.

“No single person is exactly like another,” she says. “I think Wendy Wasserstein wanted us to see that in a fast and constantly changing world it’s important to know yourself, love yourself and allow yourself to be happy.”

 

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