It’s “WIPEOUT” at Gloucester Stage Company

World premier of playwright Aurora Real de Asua’s breakout new comedy runs now thru July 28


This week the Gloucester Stage Company opened the second production of its 2024 season, WIPEOUT by Aurora Real de Asua.  As part of its rolling world premiere through the National New Play Network, the play will run at Gloucester Stage now through Sunday, July 28.

Directed by Shana Gozansky and starring Karen MacDonald (as Gary), Cheryl D. Singleton (as Claudia), Noelle Player (as Wynn), and Thomas Bilotta (as Blaze), the play centers on Gary, who desires just one thing for her 77th birthday: to go surfing.  The only hiccup?  She's never touched the water.

But with the assistance of a spirited teenage surf instructor and her two best friends, Gary is poised to conquer the unknown.  Set on surfboards against the backdrop of the Pacific Ocean, WIPEOUT is a poignant comedy about friendship and the unpredictable tides of life.

"As a young surfer, I'd be paddling hard, getting ready to catch my wave, only to find a blissed-out grandmother already hanging ten. That's what I love most about surfing. Anybody - any body - can do it. The ocean is our great equalizer," said de Asua about the play she wrote. "It has a way of revealing the truth, of disintegrating the boundaries we place around ourselves and each other. This play is my love letter to the joys of surfing, the power of the ocean, and the tenacity of female friendship."

This play is part of the national New Play Network's Rolling World Premiere, in which Gloucester Stage is partnering with Rivendell Theatre in Chicago, IL, and B Street Theatre in Sacramento, CA to premier the production.

"What is special about this collaboration is that each company has had a different director, design team, and cast - but have all worked from the same text,” said Gloucester Stage Artistic Director Rebecca Bradshaw.  “Aurora worked with each ensemble to hone the script and find nuances between each audience and performance. She will join us in Gloucester for the final leg with tools and lessons she's learned along the way - what a gift! We are grateful for a process like this as it underscores our commitment to supporting playwrights and fostering new works."

WIPEOUT has already garnered great attention.  It was workshopped at prestigious venues, including Manhattan Theatre Club and Williamstown Theatre Festival, before arriving on Gloucester Stage's shore.

"I feel quite lucky to be the last production in this rolling premiere. Aurora has learned so much from her other collaborators, including the generous audiences who have attended performances and readings. I'm so grateful for Aurora's endless curiosity and openness about how to design a play that takes place in the ocean. I am excited to share what we're creating," shared the production's director, Shana Gozansky. "At its core, this play celebrates living and all the wisdom from our experiences - no matter a person's age. It's one of those plays that feels like a privilege to be a part of, and I hope audiences feel the same after seeing our production."

WIPEOUT's creative team includes Jenna McFarland Lord (scenic design), Jen Greeke (Costume Design), Kat Zhou (lighting design), Aubrey Dube (sound design), and Carolyn Ferris (prop design).

WIPEOUT runs now through Sunday, July 28.  All performances, unless noted, are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday at 3 p.m. at Gloucester Stage Company in East Gloucester.