Directed byJack O'Brien
PRIDE'S CROSSING is Tina Howe's fictional biography of Mabel Tidings Bigelow, a New Englander whose life has spanned the twentieth century. Taking her inspiration from an elderly aunt, Ms. Howe has created a complex character, by turns a gentile young lady, a burgeoning feminist, and a discreet iconoclast. As family and friends gather for her Fourth of July party, ninety-one-year-old Mabel recollects significant events that have shaped her life. Her memory ricochets from decade to decade, enabling us to discover how her identity has been forged from her relationships with a domineering mother, a distant father, two brothers – one caring, one contentious – and an abusive husband. Defying adversity, this remarkable woman nurtures her inner strength and finds her greatest solace in ocean swimming. Howe ends her play on a triumphant and inspiring note as Mabel (at the remembered age of twenty-one) prepares for her celebrated swim across the English Channel. Following the play's original run at the Old Globe Theater in San Diego last season, Ms. Howe revised PRIDE'S CROSSING for the Newhouse Theater production. Cherry Jones, who won a 1995 Best Actress Tony Award for her exquisite portrayal of the title role in Lincoln Center Theater's revival of The Heiress, created the role of Mabel in a tour de force performance encompassing the character's various ages without the aid of make-up and accompanied by a cast of six actors playing nineteen different characters.