About the Play
A Brief Crack of Light
previous title Exit Strategy)
A Brief Crack of Light is the story of two residents of a down-at-the-heels old rooming house about to be demolished. They live day-to-day on social security and faded dreams. Then a mysterious stranger enters and gives them the opportunity to be more than they thought they could be. Can they be brave and a bit larcenous?
As the play opens, the owners of the Penley rooming house where Mae and James live decide to tear the place down and they’ll be out on the street in 31 days. The two sparring friends don’t know where they’ll be able to live with their meager incomes. The loss of the Penley is a reminder that James’s and Mae’s options are shrinking in number and time is running out.
A Brief Crack of Light is a play with a twist about taking chances. The universal themes of bravery and second chances resonate with theatergoers who have had an experience that made all the difference in their life.
Director Michael Lindsay-Hogg says that Mae and James have to be brave.
Mae is the live-in caretaker and James the sole remaining tenant—a former actor and professor who resigned amid scandal. These two characters know how to push one another’s buttons and do so repeatedly. Though James is gay and Mae straight, the connection between the two shows how important the relationship is in both their lives.
When all seems like it’s lost, a stranger comes to rent a room. Alex asks for their help to recover his family’s heirloom Mercator map —or is it common theft?
Mae and James have misgivings, but, at the same time, they’re tempted. More than a caper play, A Brief Crack of Light is awash with memorable lines—funny, bawdry, wistful, philosophical. Theater goers of all ages can enjoy the turn of fate for Mae and James.
These messages resonated with the audiences of the previous A Brief Crack of Light productions. The play ran at the Mixed Blood Theatre in Minneapolis. Then it went to the Los Angeles Garry Marshall Theatre (previous name Falcon Theatre), co-produced by Hollywood’s Garry Marshall and Michael Laskin. Both productions drew rave reviews and full houses. A reviewer in Minneapolis said: “The great thing about A Brief Crack of Light is that it strikes such an entertaining balance between tragedy and comedy.” Likewise, in Los Angeles, a reviewer called it “a real treat, a delightful story, an inspiring drama, highly enjoyable.”