by Lauren McCune
Cleilda Heller’s Last Hurrah is the portrait of a strong, Texas-Panhandle family as they come to terms with the impending death of their matriarch.
The show takes place in the present day, with six characters over the course of two days in a single room at a nursing home in rural Texas. Cleilda Heller’s Last Hurrah is a play with music. Song is an innate and everyday part of their lives, and thus should remain largely unaffected.
The atmosphere of the play world should come naturally as you read. I hope that you will find you already know these people; they are your aunts, and cousins, coworkers, and neighbors. If you find you need further exploration, (or just a good excuse for a road trip) then I’ve given you a route for research. Excluding Cleilda Heller, every name that’s mentioned in this play is a town some where in Northwest Texas. So, get yourself a road map and follow them around. Be sure to stop often for both food and conversation; Texans have big hearts and even bigger portions.
Cleilda Heller’s Last Hurrah was work-shopped under the supervision of Elana Greenfield, and had one reading in the basement of Eugene Lang College: The New School for Liberal Arts on September 15, 2006. In August of 2008, Cleilda Heller’s Last Hurrah was named a Finalist in Stage West’s Second Annual Texas Playwrights Festival.