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A canine complicates a couple's relationship in Theatre Factory production of 'Sylvia'

Patrick Varine
| Friday, Feb. 9, 2018, 9:09 a.m.
Max, a 4-year-old Basset mix, poses for a photo. While one of the main characters in A.R. Gurney's 'Sylvia' is a dog, she will be played by a human in the Theatre Factory's production, which opens Feb. 15, 2018.
Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review
Max, a 4-year-old Basset mix, poses for a photo. While one of the main characters in A.R. Gurney's 'Sylvia' is a dog, she will be played by a human in the Theatre Factory's production, which opens Feb. 15, 2018.

A man's midlife crisis and marriage are impacted when he finds a dog at the local park in the latest Theatre Factory production, A.R. Gurney's 1995 play “Sylvia.”

The title character is a female dog — played by a human — who has anthropomorphic features. She and Greg take long walks, much to the chagrin of Greg's wife, Kate, where they discuss philosophy and astronomy.

In a 1997 interview with Playbill magazine, Gurney said the play was turned down by several producers before first being staged off-Broadway in the mid-1990s.

“Theatres refused it on the grounds that it equated a dog with a woman, and to ask a woman to play a dog was not just misogynist, but blatantly sexist,” Gurney told Playbill . “Obviously, I didn't see it that way, and I still don't. But we were very nervous during previews because we didn't know what we had until the reviews came out.”

Jeff Johnson will direct the Theatre Factory's production, which runs Feb. 15 to 25, with 8 p.m. shows Thursday through Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday matinees.

Tickets are $18, $16 for seniors and students, and all Thursday tickets are $15.

For more details or to make reservations, email theatrefactoryboxoffice@gmail.com or call 412-374-9200.

The theater is at 235 Cavitt Ave. in Trafford. See more at TheTheatreFactory.org .

Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-850-2862, pvarine@tribweb.com or via Twitter @MurrysvilleStar.

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