The Marjorie of the title is an octogenarian woman (born long ago in 1977) suffering from dementia. To help care for her, her daughter Tess and son-in-law Jon have acquired a new bit of technology called a Prime. Which is a sort of computer hologram to talk to her and keep her company that knows everything. Or rather, it knows and remembers everything you tell it. And it can take on the form you choose, so Marjorie's Prime is a young version of her deceased husband Walter. Tess and Jon tell the Prime about Marjorie's life, but leave out painful memories like the death of a child. Tess has a complicated relationship with her mother, and is skeptical about the Prime impersonating her father. As Marjorie's health declines, Tess grapples with her own aging and mortality, and the future she sees for herself.
|Marjorie and her Prime husband (Candace Barrett Birk and|
James Rodriguez, photo by Devon Cox)
The story is well suited to Park Square's intimate basement thrust stage, which has been transformed into a chic, modern, and slightly cold home. There's an interesting use of music too. Marjorie used to play the violin; Vivaldi's Four Seasons is a recurring theme, and transition music is well-chosen. (Scenic design by Joseph Stanley, sound design by Katie Korpi.)
|Marjorie and her daughter Tess (Candace Barrett Birk and|
Laura Sterns, photo by Devon Cox)
Marjorie Prime continues through May 19 at Park Square Theatre in downtown St. Paul.