The Outgoing Tide is a straight-talking, unpretentious, and unexpectedly humorous story of one man’s struggles to stay in control of the end of his life as he contends with Alzheimers.
Gunner (Steve Grad), a hard-bitten man who ran a trucking company, is planning his exit and rejecting years of humiliating deterioration in a home. His response, “Quality of life… Kiss my ass.”
Peg (Abigail Wright) has lived with Gunner for 50 years. She’s a good Catholic girl whose caretaking of her family is sorely tested. Still she says,”It’s what I do.” She wants son Jack
(Bunk Hess) to help her convince Gunner to move to a continuous care facility.
Jack, caught in the middle of his parents struggle, has his own problems. Midway through a divorce and dealing with a difficult teen-age son, he also has old grudges about a father who teased and bullied him as a child and a mother who used to scare him with her exaggerated caution: “I know a boy who sat too close to the television and his eyeballs melted.”
We get to know them and see the situation from all three points of view.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light, Dylan Thomas wrote as he contemplated old age and death. Gunner, a character in The Outgoing Tide, is somewhat less poetic, yelling at his wife when she brings up the idea that they move into a rest home together: You got a better chance of seeing Christ direct traffic with a cigar in his mouth. ~ NY Times
This drama brings sensitive observation and minor-key humor to painful situations that many of us will recognize from our own families ~ NY Times
The Outgoing Tide has affection and respect for its characters, and pulls you into its story. The characters are well-drawn, the dialogue is pungentHow Gunner determines to take control of his own fate, make peace with Jack, and win over Peg to his end-of- life plan makes up the gist of the story. ~ Backstage
The Outgoing Tide by Bruce Graham, directed by James Carver, will play at the Nomad Playhouse in Boulder, CO.
7:30 pm September 23rd , 24th , 30th , Oct 1st , with a 2:30pm matinee on Sept 25th.