There's this woman named Mary who catches her fiancé making out with another woman, on national television, during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. She promptly dumps him and spends the next year dating in New York City, a decidedly un-Sex and the City experience.
That's the story behind The Twelve Dates of Christmas, by actor/playwright Ginna Hoben, set to open at the FAC on Thursday.
Hoben describes the show as semi-autobiographical; drawing upon tales of her own heartache as well as dating anecdotes from her friends, she penned the work in 2010. The mission, as she puts it on her website, was to create a one-woman Christmas play, and in doing so, to break the fourth wall and talk to the audience (adults only, by the way).
Like many one-person shows, Twelve Dates is a series of vignettes exploring a wide range of human perspectives and feelings. "Mary is resilient — she never gives up hope," says Adrian Egolf, who will take up the role of Mary. "The play is a fun roller-coaster ride with some poignant moments — not too cheesy. It's a real story, about a real woman, but it's also theatrical and fun."
Egolf has acted throughout the Front Range; in the Springs, she's been in TheatreWorks' Boeing Boeing and the FAC's Of Mice and Men. From Little Mary Sunshine in elementary school to The Vagina Monologues at Georgetown University, where she attended college, Egolf feels her résumé has prepared her well for the challenge of an extended monologue format.
"When you're rehearsing, there's no audience to give you feedback, and no other actor opposite you onstage," she says. "You have to develop trust in yourself."
Which could be said for Mary, too, and others who are single during the holidays.
"The part [about the play] that speaks to me the most is the idea that when you're feeling lonely, or broken-hearted, there seems to be a universal drive to find love — to find that special person," Egolf says. "It becomes even more obvious around the holidays."
Hoben eventually found her own happy ending. You'll have to see if she extended the same gift to Mary.