By William Gibson
Directed by Alan D. Kaplan
Steve Short, Stage Manager
Make Up by Jon Fisher
Costume by Mary Selvoski
Saturday, November 21, 7:30 p.m.
Etz Hayim, Derry, NH
Sunday, November 22, 1:00 p.m.
B'Nai Israel, Laconia
Saturday, November 28, 7:30 p.m.
Jewish Federation of NH, Manchester, NH
Sunday, November 29, 1:00 p.m.
Temple Beth Abraham, Nashua, NH
The Jewish Federation of New Hampshire, along with Second Stage Productions presents Golda’s Balcony by William Gibson. This one woman show about the iconic former Prime Minster of Israel, Golda Meir, stars Cathy McKay.
Golda’s Balcony follows the trajectory of the life of Golda Meir from Russian immigrant to American schoolteacher to a leader of international politics as the fourth Prime Minister of Israel. Much of its focus is on the period surrounding the 1973 Yom Kippur War, when Israel was attacked by Egypt and Syria. Gibson's drama suggests Meir threatened Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger with the launch of nuclear weapons against her enemies, conceivably starting World War III, unless the U.S. came to her country’s aid.
Accelerating the aging process
Every show has theatrical challenges, but one that Director Alan D. Kaplan and makeup artist Jon Fisher faced was that Golda Meir was an elderly woman with very distinctive features, and when Cathy McKay took the role, Kaplan knew she looked nothing like Golda Meir.
How do you make an attractive young actress with short blond hair look like a woman 25 to 30 years her senior with clear ethnic features? Kaplan, who has spent many years teaching makeup technique, called Fisher, who has extensive experience in the use of prosthetics and has done make up for years for multiple companies in southern NH. Kaplan and Fisher take two hours before every performance to get the makeup right.
The initial application of latex and cotton batting to the neck area helps form the wrinkles in this area. Because it takes a long time to set, the prosthetic nose is then applied with spirit gum to anchor it to the skin. Cotton balls are then applied along the chin line to fill out the face and create jowls. Latex is applied on the stretched skin of the face and forehead and using a hair dryer on a low heat setting is held until the latex dries.
When the skin is released the wrinkles magically appear. The whole face then receives several treatments of grease paint mask cover make up which is powdered to help it set and not smear. Eye brows and highlights and shadows are added with cream make up and pencils and again powdered to set the makeup. With a little lip rouge the makeup is complete. The wig is applied and actress Cathy McKay is ready to get into her costume and step on stage as "Golda Meir" the fourth Prime Minister of Israel.