The play begins on the day of Gertrude's death in 1946. Her spirit appears to Alice as they reminisce about their past, and follows her throughout the rest of her life until they can finally be together again. There's a dreamlike quality as we follow these two fascinating women across time and space. Their story is not told linearly, but over the course of the play we get a real sense of their relationship as they reenact their first meeting, the moment they decided that they would be together for life, their work together publishing Gertrude's books, and Alice's life as she continued to live in their home until she was almost 90 years old. It's a quiet play with not much in the way of action, but more of a character study of these two women and their relationship.
|Gertrude and Alice on a picnic in Italy
(Claudia Wilkins and Barbara Kingsley, photo by Michal Daniel)
Gertrude Stein and a Companion is a beautiful play that somehow condenses 60 years of a relationship into just over 90 minutes (including an unnecessary intermission). With 8 productions spanning over 20 years, the Jungle has honed and polished this play to a lovely little gem (playing now through March 8).