Keizertimes. (Salem, Or.) 1979-current, October 19, 2018, Page PAGE A4, Image 4

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Keizer Homegrown brings
The Quality of Life to the stage
Robert Herzog, standing, Danna Swanenberg and Franca Hernandez act out a scene from The
Quality of Life, opening Friday, Oct. 19 at 7 p.m. in the Keizer Cultural Center.
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W W W . N W F A M I L Y C H I R O . N E T
Of the Keizertimes
Jesse Whitehead had not
directed a Keizer Homegrown
Theatre show in four years
when he received a phone call
from the troupe’s founder—
Linda Baker.
She had a script, The Qual-
ity of Life, for Whitehead to
“I didn’t know anything
about the play so I didn’t
know what to expect and
I read it and I was just real-
ly, really moved by it. I called
her back and I said, ‘I hate you
because I have to direct this
The Quality of Life opens
Friday Oct. 19 at 7 p.m. in
the Keizer Cultural Center,
980 Chemawa Rd. NE, with
additional shows Oct. 20, 26-
27 and Nov. 2-3 at 7 p.m. and
matinees on Oct. 21, 28 and
Nov. 4 at 2 p.m. Tickets are
Written by Jane Ander-
son, the play tells the story
of Dinah and Bill, a devout,
church-going couple from
Ohio who are struggling to
keep their lives intact after the
death of their daughter.
Dinah is compelled to re-
connect with her left-leaning
cousins in Northern Califor-
nia who are going through
their own trials. Jeannette and
Neil have lost their home to
a wildfi re and Neil has cancer.
However, they seem to have
accepted their situation with
good humor, living in a yurt
on their burn site and cele-
brating life with hits of mar-
ijuana and red wine.
While Bill and Dinah are
both moved and perplexed by
their cousins’ composure, their
sympathy turns to rage when
they fi nd out Jeannette is
planning to take her own life
to avoid a life of grief without
her beloved Neil.
“There’s a lot of interesting
conversations about marijua-
na, right to life, the afterlife,”
Whitehead said. “A lot of in-
teresting subjects get broached
in the dialogue. It’s a very
talking play. I think people
will fi nd a surprising amount
of laughs. They can enjoy
some really good acting by lo-
cal actors.”
Robert Herzog and Fran-
ca Hernandez play Neil and
Jeannette. Dinah and Bill are
portrayed by Danna Swanen-
berg and Tim Jaeger.
“Act two is my favorite
part of the show,” Whitehead
said. “Things really come to
a head and actors get to real-
ly act with each other and it’s
very moving and powerful.
I’m really looking forward to
other people having similar
reactions that I did.
“It doesn’t necessarily
come to any hard conclu-
sions. It raises a lot of issues
and asks the audience to think
about them and I hope they
Tim Jagar plays Bill, a born
again Christian from Ohio
dealing with the death of
his daughter, in The Quality
of Life, presented by Keizer
Homegrown Theatre.
are thinking about them long
after the play is over.”
To reserve tickets, email