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A Very Present Presence

A Very Present Presence is a magical comedy about Alice, whose mid-life crisis is interrupted by a visitation from her long-dead Great-Aunt Nell. Together they embark on a journey through time, and Alice learns that her problems spring from sources deeper than she imagined.

When daily pressures—a crumbling marriage, young adult children failing to launch—become too much for Alice, she flees to her family’s cabin to sort things. Her reverie is interrupted by a visitation from her Great Aunt Nell—who died 20 years ago!  Alice gets over the shock of seeing a “presence,” and agrees to be tutored in the family's history. Alice meets her Grammie Alberta (who raised her), as a young woman in love with the wrong man. And Alice is propelled into action! As she extricates herself from her marriage, she tries to mend relationships with her children, Lenny and Bets. With Nell she goes on a time-traveling expedition to visit Bertie, hoping to jolt her out of her passivity. Alice comes to a realization of her own political consciousness. In the final scene, as Alice protests for women's equality, Nell joins her. Lenny shows up unexpectedly, and mother and son reconcile. Alberta arrives, and pledges to make up for lost time: happy end!


A Very Present Presence has had staged readings at the The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Page-to-Stage Festival in September, 2016, and as part of Pipleine Playwrights new play series at MetroStage in Alexandria, Virginia in March, 2017.