Ruth Ghio, a longtime Grass Valley resident is presenting encore performances of “Reflections,” a play she wrote and directed.
First presented in July 2012, the single performance sold out and received immediate praise including this quote by Sierra College acting and theater history teacher John Deaderick: “Treasure manifests at the intersection of truth and art. Ruth Ghio’s story is just such a gem. It will move and amaze, and that is just what it should do.”
“Reflections” is a play about her life, and the lessons she has drawn from it that will be performed at 7 p.m. Friday and again at 2 p.m. April 28 at the Unitarian Universalist Community of the Mountains (UUCM) in Grass Valley.
In “Reflections,” Ghio, a longtime local therapist, contemplates the formative experiences of her childhood and how they shaped the person she is today. We see the destructive power that secrets can have and revel in the wisdom Ghio shares as she looks back at the challenges she faced.
In this production, Ghio is portrayed by Lindsay Dunckel.
When Ruth first approached her about putting on this one-woman show, “I was deeply flattered. I read the script and was blown away by the depth of emotion and Ruth’s daring in not shying away from hard truths,” Dunckel said.
“Reflections” marks Dunckel’s return to the stage after an absence of many years. Known locally as a poet and child advocate, Dunckel has acted in productions in San Francisco and New York City. Her favorite challenge in this show has been getting into the mind of a three-year-old at the opening of the first act and then enacting the many transformations through the age of 80 in little more than two hours.
The play presents Ghio’s story. An unwanted child born into poverty, Ruth grows up in chaos amidst alcoholism and strife, yet somehow develops the ability to create her own safe home wherever she goes. Her descriptions of a prairie in North Dakota, a beach in Oregon and the segregated projects in World War II-era Richmond, Calif. bring each of those places vividly alive.
This production is a fund-raiser for the Unitarian Universalist Community of the Mountains, where Ghio has found a spiritual home. She has written a deeply moving play that tells of love and hate, peace and chaos, remorse and acceptance–and deftly brings all these dichotomies together in a whole that is the richer for containing them. Reflections shows us all the vulnerabilities of being human and then inspires us with the deep wisdom gained over eighty years from a life well-lived.
Tickets are $15; under 15 years is free and are available at BriarPatch Co-op, The Book Seller and at the door of each performance.