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ALBANY — Once the curtain at Capital Repertory Theatre opens on “Red Maple on Friday, Jan. 25, it will be the end of sorts for Yvonne Perry’s lobbying efforts.
Perry is no stranger to pitching products. Have you spent some time in the Capital District, chances are you’ve seen her face. The one-time soap opera star has made a career out of acting out of Albany. She may have persuaded you to buy your bed mattress from Taft furniture, where she’s been a spokesperson for years. As today’s workforce continues be defined by a gig economy, Perry said life as an actor is nothing but. You will see her in television commercials, radio advertisements and print ads. And, when she’s not teaching out of one of the local universities, you may have spied her in one of your industry seminar videos. She’s everywhere.
“To make a product desirable or understandable to somebody, I like that,” said Perry.
The veteran actress and friend to playwright David Bunce was one of the play’s biggest supporters before it earned the winning entry in the Next Act! New Play Summit in 2017. The two have been friends for years, she said. And, several years prior to being cast to act in this production, she hosted a read through of the play at her home. Later, over a “wine and a beer,” she and Bunce talked over what worked and what didn’t. The end result, is a play of which she is excited to be a part.
“Having read the volume of plays that I’ve read,” said Perry. “It’s really hard to find a comedy that works. People don’t write comedies. Comedies are hard. And, this play is funny.”
The play, directed by Margaret E. Hall, is set in the Capital District. However, Perry said the people and the issues in which they are struggling with is relatable to anyone and anywhere.
The plot centers around Robert. The college professor has just become an empty-nester, and his friends have grown concerned as they observe him falling apart. They all decide to gather together for a dinner to cheer him up, and that’s where the drama begins.
Perry said she enjoys her role as Karen. “Selfishly,” she said, she likes all of the characters because, as a mother and someone who has been married for 25 years, she can appreciate the dialogue in the play.
As an actor, Perry said sees how each of the characters’ monologues would be a treat to play. “And, I have to tell you, the actors in this show, who came up from New York, are out of this freaking world. I’m just trying to keep up with them.”
“Red Maple” will run at the Capital Rep from Friday, Jan 25 to Sunday, Feb. 17. For tickets, visit proctors.org.
Michael Hallisey is managing editor of Spotlight Newspapers.