Emily (Wera von Wulfen) and Justin (Johnny Moreno*) have a backyard conversation in ‘Heroes of the Fourth Turning’ at San Francisco Playhouse

San Francisco Playhouse Stages “The Fourth Turning”

Bill English, director of the San Francisco Playhouse current production of “The Fourth Turning,” has long referred to his venue as “The Empathy Gym.”

Curious, then, on what to make of  the line “Liberals are empathy addicts”

This declaration comes from Gina Ash Malloy, the gifted actress portraying Teresa in this highly engaging play.

It’s nearing midnight in Wyoming, where four young conservatives have gathered at a backyard after-party. They’ve returned home to toast their mentor Gina, newly inducted as president of a tiny Catholic college.

But as their reunion spirals into spiritual chaos and clashing generational politics, it becomes less a celebration than a vicious fight to be understood.

On a chilly night in the middle of America, Will Arbery’s haunting play offers grace and disarming clarity, speaking to the heart of a country at war with itself.

Will “Turning” enjoy the same success here as it has in other parts of the country?

Mr. English will remain even-keeled  in any case. Here’s an interview done with Bay Crossings some ago:

BC: Have you leaned any great lessons from a play’s failure?

English: Well, I don’t know that I feel we have had any failures. I’m proud as can be of every show we’ve put on artistically. Some do better than others at the box office, which can be a bit of a mystery. We were discussing the other day that plays about war and cancer have not done as well. These are tough topics. But there are lots of surprises, with shows we don’t have great expectations for sometimes out-selling the ones we expect to make more sales.

Tickets ($25 – $100) are now available.

For tmore information, readers may contact the San Francisco Playhouse box office at 415-677-9596, or online at https://www.sfplayhouse.org/sfph/2021-2022-season/heroes-of-the- fourth-turning/