Settling into your late 20s can be tough, especially when your sister calls in on a favor you pledged to help with as kids – to help carry her baby to term as a surrogate – only for things to go horribly wrong when the mother of the child unexpectedly dies.
It’s not a story based on true events, but it’s a concept that enamored Warwick Neck native Rebecca Hurd so much that she has put together a one-woman show, “The Other Side of 25,” a dark comedy that explores the fictional predicament of Amory, a 27-year-old who struggles enough with her own adulthood while simultaneously feels obligated to fulfill said promise to her older sibling.
Hurd billed the show as a complex look at growing into adulthood in modern times, where expectations from society don’t always mesh well with the challenging reality faced by many millennials.
“I think just because I'm at the time of my life of where I’m turning 25 and not really knowing what I'm doing or how I'm going to make money or have health insurance, 25 is this arbitrary time when people think you're supposed to have your life together,” she said. “The show is about a young woman coming to age and coming to terms with her age and growing up in 2019 as a young woman.”
The show will feature live music numbers – songs written and performed by Hurd, who taught herself guitar for the show – and will play at The Artists’ Exchange in Rolfe Square in Cranston May 30 through June 2 (Thursday-Saturday at 7 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m.)
Hurd’s path to creating the show didn’t start in Little Rhody, however. It began in Sydney, Australia, where Hurd attended the prestigious National Institute of Dramatic Arts (NIDA, for short, whose alumni include the likes of Mel Gibson and Cate Blanchett) to pursue an MFA in writing for performance, which she recently completed.
That adventure down under almost didn’t happen, as Hurd was hesitant to uproot and fly across the world to attend the school. But fate had other ideas. On the night that she found out she got accepted, she was working in a cupcake shop in Chicago. A customer with an Australian accent happened to come in and the two got to talking about NIDA. He implored her that she had to go.
“I'm such a believer in that everything happens for a reason,” Hurd said. “So, I’m like, I guess I’m moving to Sydney.”
While in Australia, Hurd started writing the show and submitted it to various theater companies there. It got picked up, and Hurd was able to tour with the show around metropolitan capitals of Sydney, Adelaide and Melbourne.
“Now I'm bringing it to Rhode Island so I can share it with friends and family,” she said.
Hurd, whose family owns the Hurd Auto Mall in Johnston, said that the show contains a good mix of dark comedy, lighter humor, somberness and a lot of heart in between. She said the smaller, more intimate venue of The Artists’ Exchange lends itself perfectly to the type of show.
Hurd currently resides in Chicago where she is pursuing her artistic dreams.
“It's very exciting. As much as it still feels like I'm not doing enough and that there's still more to be done, I can palpably feel how much opportunity there is here for an actor and a writer,” she said. “I’m excited to see where my career leads me.”
Tickets for “The Other Side of 25” can be purchased online at Artists-Exchange.org.