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Twisting the Plot

Jun 9, 2020

Maryann Plunkett is a woman in her sixties who is not invisible, although she regularly portrays women who are.  This past year, the Tony award-winning actor was seen in Greta Gerwig’s Little Women and as Mrs. Rogers in A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood with Tom Hanks.

Originally, we wanted to talk to Maryann about her experience performing in the recent online production of What Do We Need To Talk About, produced by the Public Theatre in which the audience witnesses a Zoom call with the Apple family as they grapple with life during COVID-19.

We were hoping to hear Maryann’s thoughts about life during the pandemic, as well as the shutdown of live theater.  We were planning to discuss the importance of story, and contemplate the role of theatre in fostering a culture of growth.

As it turned out, our discussion took place just after the brutal murder of George Floyd. We hadn’t previously spoken together about how this might change our plan. As we started to talk, we hit the record button and decided to let it be what it is:  three white sixty something women engaged in a conversation about what has been happening in the world.  We ask ourselves, what is our role?  Should we shut up or do we speak up?  How do we move forward?  

In a 2016 New Yorker profile, Maryann is described as a “radiant everywoman.” What now for Maryann?  What now for all of us?

We don’t have answers. All we know is that we must listen.  We must learn.  And we must figure out how to serve.