The Arlington Players (TAP) are proudly presenting the American premiere of the Agatha Christie play A Daughter’s a Daughter, running February 1 – 16 at the Thomas Jefferson Community Theater.
Believed to be loosely based on her own relationship with her only daughter, Rosalind Hicks, Christie’s A Daughter’s A Daughter follows widowed Ann and her only daughter, Sarah, through their intense relationship of jealousy, sacrifice, and resentment.
After the play premiered in the U.K. in 1956, it took half a century before it finally reached the London’s West End in 2009, its first full-scale revival. After yet another decade, this rarely produced, under-appreciated play is finally making the leap across the Atlantic for its U.S. premiere.
“It’s fitting that A Daughter’s A Daughter is having its U.S. premiere produced by a community theater,” said TAP Board President Steven Yates. “The moving story arc is self-sacrifice for those which we love. It’s a bit of a loose metaphor for TAP and our volunteers.”
TAP and other local community theater companies are a well-kept secret in the D.C. metro. Productions like this are produced and presented completely by community volunteers. Actors, directors, set painters, costumers, and more sacrifice their evening and weekends, time with their friends and families, for the good of their passion. And for the art.
The play’s two leads are excited to be part of this historic premiere.
“Being a part of a show that has never been performed before in the US has been a wonderful, albeit challenging experience,” said Mel Gumina, a full-time American Sign Language-English interpreter who plays Sarah. “It is a story that no one has scene, so the actors have the ability to create characters free from any outside expectations or thoughts of what these individuals are like and how they behave.”
Heather Benjamin, who plays Ann, has found stepping into her role a unique challenge. Though she has performed in dozens of shows with D.C.-area community and small professional theaters over the last 20 years, she’s never performed in a family drama before.
“The structure and arc are different, and this is the first time I’ve played a mother,” Benjamin said. “It’s a whole new world in terms of text analysis and choices. The artistic team and cast are great, and I’m really enjoying the exploration of this story – an unexpected kind of story from an author typically associated with the mystery genre.”
“Once again, Arlington County is put on the map with this US premiere of a wonderful female-forward play, and who else to do it but TAP?” said Judy Lewis, Arlington resident and TAP member. “I’m proud to see that TAP is mounting this production from an iconic playwright, especially since it offers such wonderful opportunities for women.”
A Daughter’s A Daughter was the fifth novel published under Christie’s pseudonym Mary Westmacott. Westmacott novels deviated from the crime and murder genre Christie is best known for, and this story is no different.
Performances of A Daughter’s A Daughter are set for weekends, February 1 – 16, 2020 at the Thomas Jefferson Community Theatre, 125 S. Old Glebe Road, Arlington, VA 22204. Friday and Saturday performances begin at 8:00 PM; Sunday matinees begin at 2:30 PM. The February 8th performance will be ASL interpreted. For more information and tickets, visit www.thearlingtonplayers.org.