A 25-year-old woman wearing black leather gloves, a blue woolen winter coat and white winter beret-style hat, sits and listens to an 81-year-old man who stands in a three-piece woolen gray suit behind a desk that is scattered with papers and file folders.
James Whitmore as Judge Travis Biddle and Karron Graves as Sarah in the 2006 Ford’s Theatre production of Trying. Photo by T. Charles Erickson.

Trying

A comic and touching portrait of generational reconciliation

date January 20, 2006 — February 25, 2006

Trying is a two-character play based on the author’s experience during 1967-1968 when she worked for Francis Biddle at his home in Washington, D.C. Judge Biddle had been Attorney General of the United States under Franklin Roosevelt. After the war, President Truman named him Chief Judge of the American Military Tribunal at Nuremberg. The play is about a young Canadian girl and an old, Philadelphia aristocrat “trying” to understand each other in what Biddle knows is the final year of his life.

Artistic Team

Director Guy Kaikkonen
Scenic Designer Jeff Bauer
Costume Designer Pamela Scofield
Lighting Designer Rui Rita
Sound Designer Tony Angelini
Production Stage Manager Allison Deutsch
Assistant Stage Manager Craig A. Horness
Casting Liz Woodman

Cast

Silhouette of a human head on black.

Karron Graves

Sarah

Silhouette of a human head on black.

James Whitmore

Judge Francis Biddle

Silhouette of a human head on black.

Bev Appleton

Understudy

Silhouette of a human head on black.

Elizabeth Webster

Understudy

From the Gallery

The 81-year-old Francis Biddle, Attorney General of the United States under Franklin Roosevelt (portrayed by actor James Whitmore), sits behind a desk that is scattered with piles of papers and file folders. He holds a phone receiver in his hand.

James Whitmore as Judge Travis Biddle in “Trying” at Ford’s Theatre. Photo by T. Charles Erickson.

A stage set of an office featuring a hodgepodge of items collected in a lifetime of work. Set includes two mahogany desks, each with a landline phone and reading lamp. One desk is covered with heaps of scattered piles of papers and file folders, and the other is neatly cleared with a typewriter. The room also has three tall wooden file cabinets; a large globe on a rolling stand; a wooden podium holding an open law book; multiple bookcases lined with law and other reference books. In the middle of the set is a twin-sized cot with pillows and blankets. A pile of manila folders sits next to the cot.

Jeff Bauer’s Scenic Design for the 2006 Ford’s Theatre production of “Trying,” directed by Gus Kaikkonen. Photo by T. Charles Erickson.

A 25-year-old woman wearing black leather gloves, a blue woolen winter coat and white winter beret-style hat, sits and listens to an 81-year-old man who stands in a three-piece woolen gray suit behind a desk that is scattered with papers and file folders.

James Whitmore as Judge Travis Biddle and Karron Graves as Sarah in the 2006 Ford’s Theatre production of “Trying”. Photo by T. Charles Erickson.

A 25-year-old woman wearing a blue knee-length skirt, button-down sweater with a blue morning-glory pattern and black patent leather Mary Janes, stands with her hands on her hips as she listens to a 81-year old man who is seated on a cot, wearing a three-piece woolen gray suit.

Trying, by Joanna McLelland Glass, directed by Gus Kaikkonen at Ford’s Theatre, 1/19/06.

A 25-year-old woman wearing a blue woolen winter coat sits near a large open book with an 81-year-old man in a three-piece woolen gray suit and winter scarf.

A 25-year-old woman wearing a blue woolen winter coat sits near a large open book with an 81-year-old man in a three-piece woolen gray suit and winter scarf.

81-year-old man in a red cardigan sweater stands and speaks with a 25-year-old woman in a tailored black-and-blue tartan-patterned dress.

81-year-old man in a red cardigan sweater stands and speaks with a 25-year-old woman in a tailored black-and-blue tartan-patterned dress.