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Adderley reads play, The Boat House

BY SAMANTHA GENTRY | SEPTEMBER 15, 2011 7:20 AM

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Seeing the beauty of the red sand beaches in Hana, Hawaii, would not have been so powerful an experience for Eva Adderley had she not met Ruth, one of the locals.

Ruth contended that before Adderley could go on the beach, it was necessary to have her aura read. While this may have seemed ridiculous to her at the time, it is moments such as these that influence her writing.

"I think it's really important as a writer to have crazy experiences unrelated to writing," she said. "If you just sit around and write all day, that is all you'll be able to write about."

A stage reading of her most recent work, The Boat House, will be held at 8 p.m. Saturday in 172 Theatre Building. Admission is free.

While the piece has nothing to do with Adderley's travels, the "secret spot" in Iowa City where she and her friends hung out did have an influence on the story.

"I'm originally from Iowa City," she said. "So my friends and I would break into the old boathouse by the river to hang out."

The three main characters in the story are nothing like her friends — they are more delinquent, she said.

One character in particular has a bad home life, so the boathouse acts as a sanctuary in which he can escape reality.

"The characters are important to me because the general dynamic of the group is that they are all bright and unique but don't necessarily function well in social society," she said. "That was kind of like who my friends were in high school."

Adderley has worked with director Tom Taylor on the production, who said he believes that the three teens in the play try to be more than who they are by seeking a safe place outside their hostile environment.

"The boathouse is their safe haven; it is the friends hanging out there who hold it together with love, humor, protection, and well-intentioned care for their chosen family," Taylor said. "How they handle themselves when the outside pressures of the world threaten their safety creates a situation in which bold actions are taken and a tribal-like love manifests in selflessly passionate acts."

Taylor collaborated with Adderley last year on her 10-minute play, "The Prospect."
The Boat House examines defining what a family is, whether it be blood-related or friend-related.

"I think [Adderley] has a strong case for an ability to choose those whom you can confide in, whom you can give and receive love and safety from, and ultimately, who has an ability to make you more than who you can be on your own," Taylor said.


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