To commemorate the Missouri Bicentennial, Maplewood Barn Community Theatre will produce four plays in 2021 with a Missouri theme, featuring the work of a Missouri playwright, a Missouri subject matter, or a Missouri setting. The four shows that will be selected will showcase the wonderful talent of Missouri playwrights, the exciting history and stories of Missouri’s culture and heritage, and the majestic landscapes of this beautiful state. The season opens with “Fifth of July” by Lanford Wilson: April 22-25 & April 26-May 2. Box office opens at 7pm and the show begins at 8pm. Tickets are $13 for adults and $5 for kids 10 and up. Visit MaplewoodBarn.com for more info.
The scene is a sprawling farmhouse in rural Missouri, which is home to Ken, a legless Vietnam veteran, and his lover, Jed, a horticulturist. They are visited by Ken’s sister, June, and her teenage daughter, and by Gwen and John—the former a hard-drinking, pill-popping heiress who aspires to be a rock star, the latter her wary-eyed husband and manager. All are old friends from college days, and former activists who agitated for what they hoped would be a better world. The action centers on Gwen’s offer to buy the farm, which she plans to convert into a recording center, and on Ken’s Aunt Sally, who has come to the family homestead to scatter the ashes of her late husband. Their talk, as the play progresses, is sharp and funny and, in the final essence, deeply revealing of lost hopes and dreams and of the bitterness that must be fought back if one is to perceive the good that life can offer.