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Footlighters to present ‘Other Desert Cities’

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The Walpole Footlighters are set to present “Other Desert Cities” this February.

Successful writer Brooke Wyeth returns to her family’s home in Palm Springs to celebrate Christmas 2004 for the first time in six years. She brings with her the manuscript for her next book and her liberal politics. Brooke’s politics are an old problem for her staunchly Republican parents, but they didn’t prevent her father, Lyman Wyeth, from serving as an Ambassador in the Reagan Administration. Brooke’s manuscript is a new problem; it discusses a tragedy in the family’s history, a tragedy the rest of her family would rather didn’t become public. This family dynamic is the launching point for The Walpole Footlighters production of “Other Desert Cities” by Jon Robin Baitz.

Director Jennifer Rich has been directing in the area for five years with numerous theaters, and is making her Footlighters debut with this production. She attended a performance of “Other Desert Cities” in Boston six years ago, and thought it was powerful and very moving. That said, there was a moment in the performance that didn’t ring true for her, and now she has the chance to fix that moment. “One of the many wonderful things about this script is that it provokes both laughter and tears,” says Rich. “I think the story is very relatable. Most of us have had something in life that we know we have to do; even if we can't explain why, or we know it won't be a popular decision, we know we have to do it. It takes a tremendous amount of courage to move forward with that idea, accepting that you might lose people you care about if you go ahead with it, but honoring your truth. I think that's an inspiring thing to see, and the play handles that in a very powerful and touching fashion.”

Performances of “Other Desert Cities” will be given at the Walpole Footlighters Playhouse at 2 Scout Road in East Walpole. Evening performances will be given on February 7, 8, 14, 15, 21 and 22 at 8:00 p.m. There will also be matinee performances on February 16 and 23 at 2:00 p.m. Concessions will include wine and beer at Friday evening performances. Tickets are $20 and all seats are reserved. Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more. To purchase tickets, call the box office at (508-668-8446) or purchase online at This production is sponsored in part by the Walpole Cultural Council, a local agency, which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

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