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"Likeness begins with a straightforward question — Should a struggling artist sometimes compromise his integrity to further his career? — and ends by colliding head-on with the eternal verities. ...we are forced to consider the virtue of honor, the wisdom of pragmatism, the nature of beauty, the beauty of truth, the allure of servility, the commingled love and fascism of certain kinds of father-daughter relationships, and the ultimate dominion of women over their husbands. Playwright David Caudle has much to say about all of these things, and he has the talent to let his characters say all of it in their own voices." Brandon K. Thorp, Miami New Times
Colonial Massachusetts, 1765: A wealthy landowner hires a highly idealistic young artist to paint a highly idealized portrait of his daughter for the purposes of enticing a titled British nobleman into marriage. Though adverse to the idea of telling a lie with his brush, painter Edmund Farraday is lured by the promise of money and career advancement. His contempt for the spoiled girl wipes away his last scruples, until the first rumbles of revolution make him see his subject and himself in a new way altogether .
Character Breakdown: (3M, 3F)
EDMUND FARRADAY, 24; An idealistic young artist. He combines the gawkiness of youth with a highly sophisticated verbal eloquence.
MARCUS, 17; A field hand.
MR. WESTERLEY, 40ish. A wealthy, tyrannical landowner.
MISS PRESTON, 30s. The reserved governess.
MISS WESTERLEY, 16. Mr. Westerley's only child.
MRS. MAPES, 50ish. Mr. Westerley's 'niece.'
NEW THEATRE: Matthew Leddy and Tara Vodihn.
Directed by Ricky J. Martinez
"...another brilliant piece of writing from Miamian-turned-New Yorker David Caudle, who turned to the turbulent times of Revolutionary War Boston to explore idealism versus reality. ...but it is really not a historical drama. It is, however, a tale about family, economic class consciousness, and, of course, the honesty of an artist..."Ron Levitt, Entertainment News and Views.
LIKENESS was developed in part at the New Harmony Project, 2006.
The play premiered at Miami's New Theatre, followed by a workshop at the Manhattan Theatre Source.
Currently, the play is being further developed in the Dorothy Strelsin New American Writers Group at Primary Stages.
Manhattan Theatre Source
Top: Brad Fraser, Erin Wilhelmi
Bottom: Erin Wilhelmi