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Amelia Islander

"Handy Dandy" Performance at New Vision Congregational Church in Yulee

Feb 15, 2013 02:00AM
Art, theatre, and poetry have long been known to bring forth lively discussion and interesting ideas, and Handy Dandy is no exception. The story revolves around confrontations between Molly Egan, a feisty, salty-tongued activist nun in her early sevenities, and District Court Judge Henry Pulaski, a conservative jurist in his sixties, when she appears in his courtroom after being arrested for picketing a local arms research laboratory.

Molly is a tough survivor who refuses to accept the notion that her destiny--and that of the civilized world--is something over which she has no control; Henry is a man devoted to logic and the law, who believes that vigils and protests are counterproductive. But as Molly is hauled back into his court again and again, Henry begins to develop a grudging respect for her courage and spirit, and eventually the two begin to hear each other out on a personal as well as professional level. Molly, who had three husbands and four abortions before becoming a nun, proves to have not only a strong sense of purpose but also a wise, compassionate heart; and Henry, widowed and alienated from his only son, is both lonely and vulnerable behind his stern exterior.

The performance, held March 2 at 2 p.m., is presented as a staged reading, directed by Debbie Strait and starring Jan Cote-Merow and Steve Rawls. After the performance, the audience is invited to attend a reception and discussion, part of an outreach program hosted by New Vision Congregational Church on Chester Road in Yulee. The play is free and open to the public, but you must make reservations in advance by calling (904) 321-0846.