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‘Cover of Life’ Opens at American Place

October 28, 1994

NEW YORK (AP) _ Feminism in the 1940s is the subject of ″The Cover of Life,″ a play by R.T. Robinson that speaks strongly for women’s equality.

His work, which opened off-Broadway Thursday night at the American Place Theater, involves consciousness-raising.

Three young women, married to brothers who enlisted in World War II on the same day, are living with their mother-in-law in rural Louisiana in 1943. Life magazine sends reporter-photographer Kate (Sara Botsford) to do a cover story.

Weetsie (Melinda Eades) is childish and does whatever her husband wants. Sybil (Kerrianne Spellman) boasts of a modern marriage in which each partner can spend time with other ″dates.″ But she’s the least capable of surviving marital betrayal.

Tood (Alice Haining) is pregnant. She’s married to the youngest of four brothers, Tommy (David Schiliro), who wants to start a bait and tackle shop so he can win the respect of his brothers. Tood thinks that Tommy never will get that respect unless he moves away and starts a new life.

Aunt Ola Clifford (Carlin Glynn), the mother-in-law, agrees. She laments that she never tried to prevent her sons from becoming just like their selfish father.

But of all the women in the play, the person whose consciousness is raised the most is the smart, New York career woman. She feels superior to this ″women’s story″ to which she’s been assigned, and proud that her editor treats her like ″one of the boys.″

In the end, being with the Clifford family teaches her alot. And when her editor is insensitive to the family, she resigns from the magazine. Her editor tells her she’s acting like a woman. For the first time, she’s proud of it.

Peter Masterson, directed. All the acting was excellent.

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