Seniors have an ‘Uncommon Lunch’ at Council on Aging performance

Feb 27, 2024

MARION — Seniors at the Marion Council on Aging enjoyed a lunch of roast pork, potatoes and banana bread on Friday, Feb. 23 — then they enjoyed something a little more “uncommon.”

The “Uncommon Lunch” players, who are a part of the New Bedford-based Culture*Park Theatre, presented three short plays at the Marion Council on Aging on Friday.

Culture*Park stages “new plays and plays that focus on regional themes,” explained Uncommon Lunch director and Culture*Park co-founder Patricia Thomas. “There’s a lot of talent in our own backyard.”

Two of the plays shown on Friday were written by Mattapoisett residents James Marlow and Diane Brown-Couture.

Brown-Couture’s play “Mea Culpa, My Friends” satirizes “the way we campaign for [political] office and the way candidates are packaged,” she said.

“In my opinion, [candidates are presented] way over the top, so you have no idea who they are or even what they’re about in many cases,” she explained.

According to Brown-Couture, who graduated from Boston University’s School of Theatre, she took inspiration from news she had read but noted that her play is not about any particular election.

Marlow, who taught playwriting at UMass Dartmouth, has lived in Mattapoisett for 36 years. His play, “Siri Goes Silent,” is about two adults who find that their smartphones have more in common than they do, according to the play bill.

“Everybody has a phone so everybody has had trouble with Siri,” he said. Marlow described a time he asked Siri to direct him to Alpharetta, Georgia. Instead, the phone started sending him to Alpharetta, New York.

“That’s the sort of thing that [inspired this play],” he said.

The third play of the afternoon, “Charlie’s Angel,” was written by New Bedford resident Pauline Boisvert. It told the story of a man and his dog navigating life and love.

Acting in each production were the Uncommon Lunch players: Nancy Leary, Patricia Thomas, Ray Veary and Ian Vincent.

For Marlow, seeing actors perform his work “is a joy.”
“Actors always bring something to the play that you didn’t see before,” he said. “They burnish it so that something shines you didn’t see before.”