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“The play puts five women on stage and what is fascinating to me is that these characters cover three generations”, says Anna McGrath. McGrath takes a break from the rehearsal room to talk to the Guide about directing AMERICAN BEAUTY SHOP, a play by three-time Kilroy Honourable Mention playwright, Dana Lynn Formby.

Aged 81-17, the women populate a beauty shop which has moved to Sue’s basement. The credit squeeze and the arrival of a supermarket giant have forced the ‘Sugar Shack’ out of its long-time Main Street premises in the dusty, western town of Cortez, Colorado. Sue has big dreams and aspirations for the basement. And for her daughter, Judy who might just have a shot at getting out.

McGrath sees the play as giving differing perspectives of the American Dream. “Each of the characters has their own point of view on what that dream might be and that’s relatable to audiences everywhere. There’s an interesting dichotomy in the play. One of the characters is all about striving and escaping the hardship of how she has experienced childhood and that is contrasted with another character who is very much proud of where she comes from and doesn’t understand what she sees as disregarding your heritage.” Continue reading AMERICAN BEAUTY SHOP : A CHAT WITH DIRECTOR ANNA MCGRATH