Some say it’s blind. Others say it’s eternal. Plato called it “a serious mental disease.”
For Pulitzer Prize-nominated playwright Audrey Cefaly, maybe love is all these things. This is where her play, Maytag Virgin, takes root.
In this uplifting Southern love story, the unflappable Jack Key moves in next door to the endearingly neurotic Lizzy Nash, and almost instantaneously, sparks begin to fly. Her yard is overflowing with what Jack describes as an “explosion” of eccentric wind chimes. His porch, on the other hand, is home to his couch (where he sleeps) along with an unused Maytag dryer. Despite their differences, over time, neighborly nagging softens, and a deeper connection begins to emerge.
“What lies at the center of Maytag Virgin is the need to risk in the face of love,” said Director Kate Alexander. “Love is about the risk of revealing who you are, including your vulnerabilities and flaws. Lizzy and Jack are full of wondrous and poignant holes that make you laugh.”
Called “hilarious and full of heart” by Atlanta Journal Constitution, and “One of theater’s most profound love stories” by DC Metro Theatre Arts, Maytag Virgin acknowledges both the humorous and dramatic sides of love. Indeed, love can straddle both categories of theatre: Love can be tragedy. Love can also be comedy.
Love is a funny thing.
Two returning cast members bring this heart-filled story to life. Taking on the role of Lizzy is Rachel Moulton, who audiences will remember from such past select productions as Honor Killing (2018), Grounded (2017), and Alabama Story (2016).
“Lizzy is incredibly brave,” said Moulton. “She has suffered a very complicated, tragic loss, but she’s got this unwavering, unapologetic determination to carry on. She yearns to be seen, and I think Jack may be the first person who truly does see her.”
Stepping into the role of Jack is Blake Price, who was last seen at FST in the 2020 Mainstage production of Bright Star as the leading man, Jimmy Ray Dobbs.
“Jack is a very moral person. Much of how he operates filters through his Catholic upbringing and the examples set by the adults and loved ones in his life,” said Price. “He believes he lives simply, but isn’t innately aware of how the grief he’s experienced has altered the way he thinks and the things he does.”
But at its heart, Maytag Virgin is a hopeful story. Audiences watch as friendship stretches past porch railings, past the laundry line — and then past the property line, to find connection for two individuals who have not felt connection in quite some time.
“There are a lot of people in the world like Jack and Lizzy who are adrift, unmoored, and looking around for something that feels like home,” said playwright Cefaly. “Maytag says, ‘Yeah, and you know what? That’s kinda beautiful.’"