PORT TOWNSEND — Actor and playwright Gin Hammond pours her heart into “Returning the Bones,” her one-woman show presented this week by Key City Public Theatre.
The play, streamed online as part of KCPT’s Art of the Solo series, is Hammond’s story of an African American woman who travels the world as a medical student. She is Hammond’s Aunt Bebe, “a fly in buttermilk,” as the performer puts it, when she went to London and crossed paths with Queen Elizabeth II.
Show time for “Returning the Bones” is 7 p.m. Thursday and Saturday via key citypublic theatre.org, with tickets at $10 per household, or $35 for the entire Art of the Solo package of four plays. They will roll out through the month of May:
• “The Westerbork Serenade,” written and performed by David Natale, streams at 7 p.m. Friday and this Sunday, May 9.
• “Gifts of War,” starring Anna Maria Campoy, opens May 13 and is rebroadcast May 15, 21 and 23.
• “The Odyssey,” performed by the late Charlie Bethel, streams with a post-play discussion hosted by Winter on May 14, 16, 20 and 22.
Hammond’s play is packed with more than two dozen characters helping tell Bebe’s tale — and like the other solo shows, it features a post-performance conversation with the actor herself.
“Returning the Bones” and the rest of the shows are pre-recorded, but Hammond, artistic director Denise Winter and other featured actors will join in live discussions with the online audience each evening.
In this week’s screenings, they will chat about Bebe, of course, and possibly about the other folks Hammond portrays in the course of her show. President Lyndon Johnson, writer James Baldwin and Eleanor Roosevelt are a few of the figures she brings alive, dialects and all.
Bebe, aka the late Dr. Carolyn Beatrice Montier, lived a big life. Yet she was a humble woman, Hammond has said.
“Slowly but surely,” her niece said, “she unfolded a story of grace.”
Jefferson County senior reporter Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-417-3509 or [email protected] news.com.