Love And Marriage, And The Pursuit Of Dreams After 50 Is The Subject Of New Play, Bone On Bone
Unfullfilled dreams... do they necessarily need to remain unfullfilled? While talking to an older friend recently about his life’s dreams, I asked him if he had any dreams he would still like to pursue. His answer shocked me. “I don’t know. I don’t think I have any dreams, per se,” he said with a shrug. It was a devastating thing to hear.
If you are over 50, there is one thing that’s become obvious in recent years: we are living longer and chances are that there is still plenty of time for dreams, for love, even for new careers. Our dreams may change with age, but they shouldn’t disappear. This brings us to Marylou DiPietro, and her new play, Bone On Bone. “Bone On Bone” is the story of a married couple at a crossroads. The wife, Linda, aged 59, and her husband, Jonathan, in his 60’s, have a relatively happy marriage until Linda has to decide if she wants to pursue her dream, which requires her (or them) to move out of New York. The Actor’s Equity showcase, playing at The Broadway Bound Theatre Festival, features Mark Coffin as Johnathan, and Geraldine Leer as Linda (see photo), and is directed by Misti B. Wills. We talked to playwright Marylou Dipietro about her new play below.
Q~ How did you come up with the story of Bone on Bone?
Marylou DiPietro: I was thinking about a reunion I had had with an old friend and mentor when the line: “It was as if the glue in our relationship was missing” popped into my head. Without realizing it, I expected to “pick up where I left off” with this important, influential person from my past. Instead, what I discovered – like Linda, in Bone on Bone – is that there’s a fine line between “reaping the benefits” of what we already have, and has kept up us afloat – and perhaps even thriving, and “cutting our losses” and moving forward.
Bone on Bone opens with Linda, a 59 year old artist, at once, trying to talk to her husband about, and to make sense of, the intense and conflicted feelings she has after seeing, for the first time in 25 years, “the first and only person who took her work seriously”.
Like Linda, we all “betray” or “abandon” a part of our “true selves” for reasons we may not fully understand or even acknowledge or which we may feel are out of our control. Through Linda’s reconnection with her old mentor, and the memory of the person and artist she wanted to become, combined with her sometimes hilarious “disconnection”, sometimes painful “bone on bone” relationship with her husband, Linda starts to wonder if she might be able to “glue” her own life back together.
Q~ The story has evolved over the last year or so. Tell us about those changes and how they came to be. How is this newest version different from the original story?
Marylou DiPietro: The play has evolved from my challenging myself to write a ten minute play into a full-length, soup-to-nuts dramatic comedy. At first I thought the entire play was about Linda’s seminal lunch “date” with Ernesto, who she admired, respected, and had unresolved, romantic feelings for back when she was as an undergrad the Rhode Island School of Design.
But old dreams (sleeping and waking) and new dreams (also sleeping and waking) and one or two or three you-can’t-talk-it-back Freudian slips change the playing field for the once seemingly happily married couple. Linda’s reunion with Ernest forces her to take responsibility for letting for her life, and her marriage, run on auto pilot. Bone on Bone is not a play about the proverbial “bucket list”, it’s about the bucket itself. It’s what happens when we finally decide – that moving forward – for better or worse — is the only option. As Linda says to Johnathan in scene 4: “It’s about making a decision; not about having choices.”