by Andrew Gerle
Based on the memoir by John Marchese, Renovations follows a burned-out magazine writer as he attempts to re-connect with his construction worker father by renovating a house near his hometown of Scranton, PA. What begins as an opportunity to learn what his father did with his life quickly turns into a revisiting of every argument they’ve ever had and a reminder of the generational and class barriers that drove them apart to begin with. Told with a cast of four, Renovations alternates between past and present in a humorous and sometimes brutal look at the perils of a father-son relationship.
JOHN MARCHESE – 40, equal measures urbane and self-deprecating, self-aware and blissfully not, intellectual and successful more the result of a quirk of nature than drive or ambition.
TULLY MARCHESE – 73 and portly, his decades in the construction business are starting to show. He speaks in short outbursts, colored by a gravelly Scranton accent.
One MALE ACTOR to play:
VALENTINO MARCHESE – John’s doting Italian grandfather
JASON – one of John’s journalism colleagues
DONNY SCARTELLI – late 30s, self-assured and easy-going Scranton native, a construction worker Jack-of-all-trades
A HORTICULTURIST LOU MECKLE – late 40s, a taciturn construction manager and “guy’s guy”
MR. LOCKS – a grieving father
One FEMALE ACTOR to play:
MIA – early 40s, a cosmopolitan journalist
ROSEMARY – John’s mother, mid-late 60s
SUNNY – a well-put-together real estate agent
FLOYD CAMPBELL – a Korean war vet
JAMES PADDEN – John’s no-nonsense Irish grandfather The play takes place half inside the house/construction site, and half in memory.