A reading of the comedy Chasing Manet by Tina Howe will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 16 at the Strauss Theater, 2200 Periwinkle Way. Tickets are $12 each and may be purchased by calling 239-395-0900 or on-line at www.BIGARTS.org prior to the performance. Tickets may also be purchased at the door the night of the performance. Box office will open at 6:30 pm.
The synopsis of the play is that zestful and irascible painter Catherine Sargent is legally blind and rarely leaves her room at the Mount Airy Nursing Home. She plots to escape to Paris aboard the QE2 to view the original Manet painting Le dejunier sur L’herbe, a print she has over her bed. Her only hope is to enlist the aid of her senile roommate Rennie Waltzer, who converses with her deceased husband. At first Catherine is upset about being stuck with the sweet-natured Rennie who is barely cognizant of her surroundings. But as they scheme together to escape, they bond over their shared need to reclaim independence.  
“Chasing Manet has an inspirational message at its core concerning the potential that lives in us all, no matter what barriers, to defy expectations and take action to attain our dreams.” NY Theater. Com.  
Local artists will perform the following roles: Leslie Anding (Catherine) danced with the NYC Ballet and has worked with several theatre groups. On Sanibel she appeared in Dearly Departed and An Evening of Radio Theatre. Jana Stone (Rennie) has an extensive arts background, having performed in plays, musicals, and worked as a director in Cleveland and Florida.  She most recently played Madame Arcarti in the Community Players production of Blithe Spirit. Harriet Edwards (Rita), a retired professor of English at the University of Cincinnati, has performed in a number of high school, college and community theatre productions. On Sanibel she appeared in the staged reading of ART. Ken Moriarity (Royal Sargent) was a professional TV newscaster, studied with the Los Angeles Theatre of Arts, and acted in a number of industrial films and marketing/sales training films. On Sanibel he appeared in An Evening of Radio Theatre. Debby Flint (Charlie) performed in a number of college and community theatre productions. Robert Runck (Director) has directed and performed in several play readings for the Community Players, most recently as Charles Condomine in Blithe Spirit. He has acted professionally with the American Repertory Theater and directed plays in Florida, Massachusetts and New Hampshire.  
Tina Howe is an American Playwright. In a career that spans more than four decades, Howe’s best known works include Painting Churches, Museum, The Art of Dining, Coastal Disturbances and Pride’s Crossing.