Collected Stories – Theater Review
The drama limns the relationship between an aging writer and her up-and-coming student.
Collected Stories is a play by Donald Margulies. He has written a lot about relationships and marriages and how people relate to one another. This play which stars Linda Lavin and Sarah Paulson is no different. It deals with sort of an ersatz family, a surrogate family. Linda Lavin plays Ruth, a college professor of creative writing of a certain age and Sarah Paulson plays her star struck student. The play is two acts and six scenes, and of the six scenes, the only one that really works I think is the final one, sort of. There’s a lot of energy to it. However, we’ve seen all this before. For the final scene to work, in which the confrontation between teacher and student occurs there needs to have been a clear idea that either the student was much more devious, at which point it couldn’t have taken place over six years or that Linda Lavin was a lot less stable than we thought she was. And since neither has been the case in the other five scenes, the the last scene, while being full of all sorts of dramatic pyrotechnics, really doesn’t work. So, unfortunately, this is either predictable or completely out of the blue. Both of which, even though they’re nice women and probably good actresses in other plays, it gets two stars.