Writing is a scavenger's business. Writers observe the people around them — friends, family, strangers — watching and listening, ever on the prowl for some detail or tidbit that strikes their fancy. And like a magpie, when they spot something shiny amid the muck of daily life, they steal it, polish it a bit, and call it their own. This is the dirty business of writing — unabashed theft of the singular moments of other people's lives. Ruth is a master of the art. An acclaimed short-story writer, she's not prolific by any means, but everything she writes is potent. Lisa is her overeager pupil, a grad student who's determined to learn everything she can from her reluctant mentor. In Donald Margulies' play Collected Stories
, we see the women's relationship change over the course of six years. The teacher/student dynamic becomes one of familiarity, then friendship, and then something else entirely, as Lisa proves she's gleaned everything she can from Ruth's tutelage — and she's not afraid to use what she now knows. The Orange Girls present Collected Stories
at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday (July 17 through August 2) at the Center of Creative Arts (524 Trinity Avenue, University City; 314-520-9557 or www.orangegirls.org
). Tickets are $18 to $20.
Thursdays-Sundays. Starts: July 17. Continues through Aug. 2, 2009