Luna Gale: Teenage Meth Addicts or Grandma? Who's the Best Parent?

Courtesy of Stages Repertory Theater

A teenage couple are in a hospital in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, waiting for word on their young daughter who's been brought in dehydrated and sick.

Within just a few minutes, the couple, both recovering meth addicts, lose custody of their baby when Caroline, a social worker, gives them the news that they won’t be taking their daughter home with them.

In Rebecca Gilman’s Luna Gale, the baby is essential to all that follows (although never seen in the flesh onstage) as the social worker struggles with who is the best person to raise a child. Seth Gordon is back in Houston to direct the play at Stages Repertory Theatre.

“The social worker needs to figure out exactly what to do with the baby and she’s faced with a moral issue, the choice between allowing the kids to put themselves back together so they can have their baby returned to them or whether one of their parents should take the child,” the director says. Carolyn Johnson (End of the Rainbow) plays the social worker, Justin Doran (Shear Madness) Pastor Jay, and the actors playing Karlie (Tanith Albright) and Peter (Jeremy Gee) are undergraduates at Sam Houston University.

Gordon says he’s a fan of Gilman’s work because of the way she tackles tough issues. “She writes plays about normal very good, very real people who are trying to do the right thing under very difficult circumstances. She also writes plays about characters who are sort of swimming upstream. They’re having difficulty navigating.”

"It is a very intense and moving play," Gordon says. "Audiences will be seeing some of the finest performers in the Houston area and some young bright talents. There were wonderful moments in the play where people are in this tremendous moral dilemma and it creates some of the most interesting theater that's possible."

Performances are scheduled for May 10-28 at 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays at Stages Repertory Theatre, 3201 Allen Parkway. For information, call 713-527-0123 or visit $21-$65.