Painting Churches

by  Tina Howe

Full Length Play, Comedy  /  1m, 2f

Finalist! 1984 Pulitzer Prize in Drama

"Beautifully written. . . . A theatrical family portrait that has the shimmer and depth of Renoir portraits." - The New York Times

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Painting Churches

by  Tina Howe

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    1m, 2f
  • Accolades

    Accolades

    Pulitzer, From Off-Broadway
  • Suggested Use

    Suggested Use

    • Cutting Approved for Competition
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Senior

Additional Info

Gardner and Fanny Church are preparing to move out of their Beacon Hill house to their summer cottage on Cape Cod. Gardner, once a famous poet, now is retired. He slips in and out of senility as his wife Fanny valiantly tries to keep them both afloat. They have asked their daughter, Mags, to come home and help them move. Mags agrees, for she hopes as well to finally paint their portrait. She is now on the verge of artistic celebrity herself and hopes, by painting her parents, to come to terms with them and they with her. Mags triumphs in the end as Fanny and Gardner actually step through the frame and become a work of art ineffable and timeless.
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Accolades

  • Finalist! 1984 Pulitzer Prize in Drama

Reviews

REVIEWS

"Beautifully written. . . . A theatrical family portrait that has the shimmer and depth of Renoir portraits." - The New York Times

"A radiant, loving and zestfully humorous play . . . distinctly Chekhovian. Howe captures the same edgy surface of false hilarity, the same unutterable sadness beneath it, and the indomitable valor beneath both." - Time

Considerations

Performing Groups

  • Senior Theatre

License details

  • Minimum Fee: $100 per performance

Production

Details

  • Setting: Beacon Hill - Boston, Massachusetts. A few years ago.

Casting

1m, 2f
FANNY CHURCH - a Bostonian from a fine old family, in her 60s
GARDNER CHURCH - her husband, an eminent New England poet from a finer family, in his 70s
MARGARET CHURCH (MAGS) - their daughter, a painter, in her early 30s
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Authors

Tina Howe

Tina Howe’s most produced plays include “Birth and After Birth”, “Museum”, “The Art of Dining”, “Painting Churches”, “Coastal Disturbances”, “Approaching Zanzibar” and “Pride’s Crossing”. These and other works premiered at the Public Theater, the Kennedy Center, Second Stage, The Old Globe Theatre, Lincoln Center Theat ...

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Painting Churches first appeared at The Second Stage. Directed by Carole Rothman.

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