The Twilight of the Golds

By Jonathan Tolins

Directed by Christina Martin Wright

This drama that uses modern science and opera as a backdrop for a confused and broken family searching for clarity and repair. The Golds, a middle-class Jewish family, must consider moral and ethical issues when Suzanne Gold-Stein (Lisa Konoplisky of UW's production Stop Kiss) finds she is pregnant and her husband Rob (Doug Reed, previously seen in Mercury Players' Blitzkrieg), a genetic researcher, employs his latest research coup to reveal the genetic makeup of their child. Rob discovers irregularities in the child's genetic makeup, and the couple find themselves in the ethically tricky position of deciding whether to abort or face the challenge of raising a child that does not meet their expectations.

Produced by StageQ at the Evjue at The Gerald Bartell Community Theatre, 113 East Mifflin, Madison, Wisconsin.

Performances: September 28-October 20, 2001

Thursdays (October 4, 11, and 18) at 7:30pm, Fridays (September 28, October 5, 12, 19) at 8pm, and Saturdays (September 29, October 6, 13, 20) at 4pm and 8pm. Thursday productions will feature a post show talk-back with the cast, crew and director and a panel of guests.

Tickets are $12 for all shows and may be purchased online at or by calling StageQ reservations at (608) 204-0306.


The Director

Christina Martin Wright (of Killing Hilda: A Love Story which she also co-directed with Giuliani) directs the production. The Twilight of the Golds originally opened in 1993: before the mapping of the genome, before Dolly the cloned sheep, and before human organs could be grown in scientific laboratories. Current advances make this story even more relevant and more vital. The subject matter is no longer operatic fantasy, but prophetic reality.

The Cast

Paul Giuliani (previously seen in Jeffrey and StageQ's Killing Hilda: A Love Story) plays David Gold, Suzanne's gay brother and a set designer for the Metropolitan Opera. David finds parallels between Richard Wagner's four-part opera The Ring Cycle and the danger of science playing God. Wagner's opera tells of spiteful gods, vulnerable humans, and the destruction of faith, innocence, and life, as we know it.

Rounding out the cast are Katy Conley (of StageQ's Stay Carl Stay) and StageQ's artistic director, Thomas McClurg, as Phyllis and Walter Gold, Suzanne and David's well-meaning but naïve parents. Steve Noll serves as production stage manager, while Gregg Harris, Jessica Myrbo, and Scott Feiner handle scenic, lighting and sound design, respectively.