Steve Duprey

GENEVA — Steve Duprey has been directing plays, musicals and other performances for more than four decades, so he’s a well-known entity on the area theatrical scene.

Next month, however, theater goers will see him in a new role — that of playwright.

“I figured I have been directing for 45 years, it’s about time I started writing,” Duprey said during a recent interview. “I know what a good play looks like. I know what good dialogue sounds like. I know how to construct it, so I started writing.”

The finished product, “Women of a Certain Age,” will run Oct. 20-23 in the Geneva Middle/High School auditorium. It’s a Geneva Theatre Guild production.

Duprey, a Phelps resident and artist, said he began writing several plays during the Covid-19 pandemic. He hopes the first one he finished, “Forgive Me, Redeem Me,” will be on stage someday.

It was after the guild’s Playwrights Playreadings event earlier this year, which was directed by Jay Hanagan, when Duprey got the inspiration for “Women of a Certain Age.”

“I was having dinner with five older women, and they were all b--ching about the fact that there are no good parts for older women, which is an absolutely true statement,” Duprey said with a laugh. “I looked around and said, ‘OK, I’ll write one.’ I started to work on it the next day and was inspired. I started writing in March and it was done by the end of June. I called those five women, plus another two or three, and we had a reading of it on my porch. They all loved it.”

The play, which Duprey calls a “comedy with a twist,” is about four college friends who have remained close over the years and are summoned to a cabin owned by one of the women. The woman, a retired nurse, comes in carrying an abandoned baby she wants to adopt and wants their input.

“She wants to keep the baby, but she is 66 years old,” Duprey said. “Her friends are supportive but don’t know what to do.”

During a night of drinking the next day, they start brainstorming. While preferring not to give away too much of the plot, Duprey said the play includes a couple of twists.

“I think this play has enough comedy in it to be entertaining,” he said. “We have a bunch of old women who swear like truckers. At the same time, it’s tender and emotional. It’s a little bit of a roller-coaster.”

Duprey is directing the production, too. He added that the audience will have a chance to ask questions and give feedback after the performances.

“This is a premiere performance. Nobody has ever seen this play before ... but I still consider it a workshop performance of sorts even though we will have lights, full set, etc.,” he said. “At the end of every performance, we are going to encourage the audience to stay and ask questions and make suggestions. I want people to talk about what they like and didn’t like, so I can learn and I can fix it so maybe the next version gets performed better someplace else.

“I am directing, but probably shouldn’t be since I wrote it. I look forward to the day when someone else directs it.”

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  • Steve Duprey
  • Playwright
  • Women Of A Certain Age
  • Geneva Theatre Guild
  • Phelps
  • Artist

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