In his latest work, Twin Cities playwright Jeffrey Hatcher explores the relationship between caregiver and patient, along with the nature and pains of memory loss. He drew inspiration for What's the Word For (no question mark, "that seemed to make the title too cute," Hatcher says) from what happened to a friend's father. "He was injured in a freak accident, and was never the same. His personality was wildly different. If you were to look at him, you would see no issue, but that piece of steel did its work." The permanent disabilities meant constant care and, eventually, living full time with a caregiver. That springboard gave Hatcher his two characters. Michael Paul Levin plays Hayden, a fiftysomething former film instructor, while Melissa Hart takes the role of Mrs. Caleodis. Through this pair, Hatcher explores the singular nature of their relationship and the fluid definition of a family. "They are looking at a choice between a diminished life and a life with risks. Are you well enough to take a walk outside and understand the difference between a red light and a green light? If you don't, you could die. Or, do you end up in a place where you will never see a red light or a green light again?" There will be a preview show Thursday, March 29.
Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 7 p.m. Starts: March 30. Continues through April 21, 2012