Hailed by critics as an “an Our Town for our time,” this play is by turns poetic and comic, romantic and philosophical. Peter returns to his twenty-year high-school reunion with dreams of winning back Kari, the girl he left behind after an unexpected pregnancy ended their relationship. Standing in Peter’s way is Kari’s bitter-as-ever resentment, her husband and the fact that Peter still hasn’t grown up. As the night progresses, both Peter and Kari are led, through their interactions with a host of characters all played by a virtuosic Narrator, to face the consequences of choices made long ago and start back into life with newfound strength and bittersweet resolve.
What is it like for a woman when her husband becomes the president of the United States—and she is suddenly thrust into the spotlight? This witty, sly and deeply moving script explores the hopes, fears and loves of Lady Bird Johnson, Pat Nixon and Betty Ford. In three scenes taking place in the family quarters of the White House just prior to the end of living there as the wife of a president, each of the women confides alone to the audience. Secrets are spilled about their early years, their husbands’ rise to power, their romances with the men, their unique paths as wives in the White House, and their feelings about imminent retirement. Lady Bird Johnson, while preparing a tea for Pat Nixon, defends her husband’s quirks but finally admits to herself, “Politics is his oxygen.” Mrs. Nixon, drinking tea alone in her room on the eve of her husband’s resignation, works on her mail, picks at her food and guardedly recalls happier times before exploding in anger about Watergate and the political world. Betty Ford is discovered reading a TIME magazine in her bathrobe. Forestalling preparations for tea with Rosalyn Carter, Betty lightheartedly recalls past escapades, but eventually admits to being quite lost about life after the White House. Defiantly pushing back the fear, she sails out the door to meet Mrs. Carter. Each of the three portraits becomes intimate, by degrees, as the women wrestle with what Pat Nixon called “the hardest unpaid job in the world.”
On a chilly night in East London, schoolteacher Kyra Hollis receives an unexpected visit from Tom Sergeant, Kyra’s one-time boss and long-time lover. After the painful (and unresolved) dissolution of Tom and Kyra’s relationship, the pair have pulled away from each other physically, emotionally, and ideologically, as Tom continues to focus on his business ventures and Kyra donates her time to teaching the underprivileged. Tom and Kyra grapple with each other, moving between tender passion and vicious political polemics, as the night darkens and the lines between past and present begin to blur. Skylight is a complex, thought-provoking, and remarkably timeless drama about power, politics, and passion.