Grandmother is in the Strawberry Patch (1973)


Lisa Jane Persky recalled this production in her 2010 remembrance of Harry Koutoukas: "Later, when I graduated from High School... Harry danced up to me on the street and said 'Darling. I’ve written a play for you. Rehearsal starts Sunday. The pay is $25.00 a week. I’ll send someone to pick you up.' I was a cocky teenager with a ton of rage and energy, no focus of attention and no real confidence of any kind. That Sunday, to my great surprise, Harry sent Benton Quin, the man who was to play 'Eunice, the woman next door' to my apartment. We walked across town together to La Mama E.T.C. and I played 'Cordelia Wells, The World's Most Perfect Teenager'. The play was 'Grandmother is in The Strawberry Patch'. Grandmother was played silently from a rocking chair by one of Harry's favorite actresses, Mary Boylan. Harry directed. On opening night, about ¼ of the way through the play, with critics in the audience, the actress playing my mother went up on her lines and the rest of us struggled to throw lines and reminders to help her get back on track. After a minute or two of this fumbling, Harry came lunging onto the stage from the back row shouting 'This is professionalism? Go back. Go back and start again!' So we did. Later that night, the actress who played my mother was fired and instantly replaced by Harry's psychotherapist. I never knew if she was really his psychotherapist or if that was part of the theater..."

Source: Lisa Jane Persky. "H.M.Koutoukas; A Remembrance by LJP". Noir Pictures: March 21, 2010.
July 19, 1973