What Is the Story of Collected Stories?
A student-teacher conference grows into a complicated professional odyssey for a famous fiction writer and her protégé in Donald Margulies’ thought-provoking play. Set in author Ruth Steiner’s rambling, book-filled Greenwich Village apartment, the action begins when Lisa Morrison arrives to have Ruth critique one of her short stories. The starstruck graduate student soon becomes Ruth’s personal assistant, and over the course of six scenes spanning six years, the mentor-mentee relationship gets turned on its head.
Linda Lavin raises an eyebrow and communicates more than a lesser actor might squeeze from a long monologue. She knows this woman down to her fingertips, investing Pulitzer Prize winner Donald Margulies’ words with a piercing truth. Sarah Paulson gives an effective performance. Her teary earnestness in the climactic scene rings true.Review by Charles Isherwood from The New York Times
Lovingly directed by Lynne Meadow, Donald Margulies delivers an engrossing play with characters that are interesting, intelligent women.Review by Linda Winer from Newsday
What Is Collected Stories Like?
Tony winner Linda Lavin gives a rich, layered performance as the demanding, often-prickly Ruth opposite TV vet Sarah Paulson as Lisa. Both characters are smart, ambitious, hard-working women, which makes fireworks inevitable when Lisa begins to experience professional success. The play walks a difficult tightrope between comedy and drama, with Lavin (who has played the role several times in other cities) anchoring the proceedings beautifully. All in all, Collected Stories is a very satisfying evening of theater, lovingly produced on Broadway by Manhattan Theatre Club.
Is Collected Stories Good for Kids?
Kids won’t be drawn to this play, but it’s perfect for any high school student who dreams of a career as a writer.