Everyone is connected in the creative, insightful Six Degrees of Separation, which opens Sept. 23 at The Western Stage

Publish Date: 
Sep 13, 2016

Everyone is connected in the creative, insightful 
Six Degrees of Separation, which opens Sept. 23 at The Western Stage
John Guare's seriocomic play explores the links we share—both true and falsified


SALINAS, Calif. – The Western Stage continues its 42nd repertory season with a fresh look at John Guare’s seriocomic play Six Degrees of Separation set in 1990s New York City.

This remarkably creative play explores the existential premise that everyone in the world is connected to everyone else in the world by a chain of no more than six acquaintances. The plot was inspired by the real-life story of a con man and robber who convinced a number of people in the 1980s that he was the son of actor Sidney Poitier. The play runs September 23 through October 9, 2016 at The Western Stage's Studio Theater at Hartnell College, 411 Central Ave., Salinas. Details are at  westernstage.com.

Six Degrees… is often biting, and always insightful. In an article about the original 1990 production, New York Times writer William Harris got Guare to talk about the themes of the play:

''We're all on top of each other,'' said Mr. Guare. ''My concerns are about the imagination and how we live in this city. We can't go on living like this, where the ideals are so high and the opposite of what ideals are, the bedrock, is so weak.

''We live in a world of magazines where the new pornography is sort of looking into people's lives. Look at my life! Look at my paintings, look at my sofa, look at my hallway leading from my foyer. People always trying to make things a comfortable shape. But that's not really possible. We're always walking in and out of other people's narratives.''

As in Guare’s observation about the people of modern-day New York, the characters in the play are inextricably linked to each other. The journey to figure out how they are connected becomes one of the main plot points.

Audiences may remember the 1993 movie of the same name based on the play. The movie starred Stockard Channing (who reprised her Tony nominated performance), Donald Sutherland and a young Will Smith. Channing also received an Oscar nomination for the film, and the play was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

Please be advised that no children’s tickets will be sold to The Western Stage's production of Six Degrees…because of the play's explicit content and brief nudity.

Dennis Beasley, who directed The Liar last season, directs this very adult piece of theatre. The Western Stage’s production is designed by David Parker (scenic), Amanda Jones (costumes), Theodore Michael Dolas (lighting) and Taylor Wilson (sound).



WHAT: The Western Stage presents Six Degrees of Separation by John Guare

WHEN: Sept. 23 - Oct. 9, 2016, at 7:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and 2:00 p.m. on Sundays.

WHERE: The Studio Theater at The Western Stage, Hartnell College, 411 Central Ave., Salinas.


TICKETS AND INFO: Admission is $26 general admission and $24 for seniors (no children's tickets will be sold for this production). Hartnell students are free with student I.D.  For tickets and more details, go to westernstage.com or call 831-755-6816.


PRESS: For press tickets, contact Kathy Cusson at kcusson@hartnell.edu or 831-759-6012. Download high-res publicity photos at  http://goo.gl/Mu6GMM

ABOUT THE WESTERN STAGE: Founded in 1974, The Western Stage (TWS) has evolved over the last four decades into one of the most respected community-based theaters on California’s Central Coast. TWS is committed to enriching the culture of its community by bringing together professional artists, theatre students, and community members to produce a dynamic season of plays that enhances the lives of both the artist and audience; developing new works that speak to the history and culture of the Salinas Valley; and providing educational opportunities that allow students of all skill levels to explore and develop their unique talents.


serves over 16,000 students annually through its main campus in Salinas, the Alisal Campus in East Salinas, the King City Education Center, and various outreach learning centers throughout the Salinas Valley. Hartnell College, a Hispanic Serving Institution, provides workforce training, basic skills courses, and prepares students for transfer to four-year colleges and universities. Hartnell College is recognized for its innovative public and private partnerships that support world class STEM education, career technical education, fine and performing arts, humanities, and athletics. We are proud to be the winners of the California Innovation Award for CSin3 – a Computer Science degree in three years. We are growing leaders through opportunity, engagement, and achievement. For more about Hartnell CCD, visit  www.hartnell.edu.