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'Ephemory' a story of legacy, family, war and love

Local playwright, producer and performer Miriam Feder has created a new play based on the experiences of her mother and those of her family. Titled “Ephemory” — a word Feder created by combining “ephemeral” and “memory” — opens Nov. 9 at the Headwaters Theatre in Northeast Portland.

The story follows Carole, an elderly woman, and Ruth, her daughter, as they pack for Carole's move to an assisted living facility. Ruth becomes captivated by the stories that pour from her mother as they handle her precious objects.

Though Carole’s memory of day-to-day events is already impaired, her stories of leaving Nazi Germany, immigrating to New York in 1938 and losing track of her family as war swept through Europe come to life and play out before the audience. Ruth is determined to harvest this legacy; Carole appreciates that her stories are valued.

In creating the play, Feder says she had to do some research, some remembering, “a bit of kicking myself for not having asked the right questions when my mother was still alive, and some embroidery.” She also created a theatrical device she calls “time episodes” — choreographed musical opportunities that address big issues, such as the hubbub of New York City, World War II, the passage of time, the conflicting and rapidly changing landscape of emotion.

“Ephemory” is directed by Debbie Lamedman, with Feder as producer. The cast includes David M. Brown, Alana Byington, Amanda Mehl, Carolyn Marie Monroe, Kaycheri Rappaport and Chris Shields.

'Ephemory'

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Nov. 9-10, 16-17, and 23-24, plus Thursday, Nov. 15, and Wednesday, Nov. 21; and 2 p.m. matinees Sunday, Nov. 11, 18 and 25.

Where: The Headwaters Theatre, 55 N.E. Farragut St., No. 9, Portland, 503-289-3499.

Tickets: $15 general admission. Discount available for groups of 10 or more. Tickets available at the door (cash or check only) or online at www.boxofficetickets.com (enter “Ephemory”).

Info: miriamfeder.com, facebook.com/ephemory.