Fleeting faculties

Limelight play tangles with the onset of dementia

theater scene COMEDIC DRAMA Limelight Actors Theater presents ‘Outgoing Tide’. Performances run Sept. 1-23, 2017 at Gilroy Center for the Arts. Photo: Alan Obata. Producer and Co Owner of Limelight Actors Theater
Most people have been affected by it one way or another—a loved one begins to struggle with memory loss or a friend of the family shares their experience with their own parent vacillating between the tragic decline of dementia and moments of clarity.

For some, they are acutely aware of their fleeting faculties, while others are blissfully ignorant to the progressive illness.

An upcoming performance of Outgoing Tide at Limelight Actors Theater (LAT) in Gilroy grapples with the uncertainty of Alzheimer’s. Though never mentioned by name, the play recounts one Chesapeake Bay family’s experience living with Alzheimer’s. The three-person comedic drama unfolds when the father, Gunner (Bill Tindall), develops a plan to ensure his family’s future shortly after diagnosis. Gunner’s wife Peg (Rosalind Farotte) and their son Jack (Limelight owner/director Kevin Health) are called on to address the developing condition, when they learn their plans don’t quite match up with Dad’s.

The downtown theater company usually offers a handful of shows each year and Heath notes it has done dramas before, but this show offers a deeper emotional connection for the audience says Heath.

“It’s a subject matter that will hit home with the audience,” he says. “Anyone who has dealt with a serious issue within a family will relate. Anyone who has dealt with dementia/Alzheimer’s in their family, or dealt with an aging mind or even a neighbor who has memory issues will recognize the specific challenge facing the family.”

Although Farotte and Tindall have never worked with each other, Heath says the trio has a lot of chemistry.

“You will truly feel we are an actual family unit and celebrate the fact that we aren’t perfect,” Heath admits. “In fact, all three characters have real, human flaws. But underneath, they love each other even when at odds. It’s a special show.”

For those concerned about the content Heath says the show is written with some humor in it.

“I don’t want anyone to be afraid because it is a drama or it might be a little heavy at times,” Heath suggests. “You’ll get some laughs, too, and you might shed a tear. Theater is about a variety of emotions and when actors bring something out of you that was unexpected, you know you’ve seen them do a good job.”

Outgoing Tide is a relatable, poignant drama about debilitating illness and self-determination.

Limelight Actors Theater presents ‘The Outgoing Tide’ written by Bruce Graham and directed by Kevin Heath. Performances run Sept. 1-23 with matinees Sept. 10 and 17 at Gilroy Center for the Arts at 7341 Monterey St. For more information, visit limelightactorstheater.com or call 408.472.3292.

Debra Eskinazi
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Debra Eskinazi is the editor of South Valley magazine.