New Play Explores Familiar Family Dynamics

  • This content is brought to you in partnership with Ronnie Larsen Presents and Plays of Wilton (POW!)

South Florida actor and director Bruce Linser stars in the world premiere of Erin K. Considine’s “Family Tree,” opening April 18 at the Foundry in Wilton Manors. Photo by Bachi Frost.

The premise of Erin K. Considine’s world premiere play will be familiar to many gay men of a certain generation: A gay son returns to his childhood home and must wrestle with the death of an abusive father and the advancing dementia of his aging mother. Meanwhile, his sister, who stayed behind to care for their parents, is afraid to let go and move forward.

“Everybody in the audience is going to see some part of themselves in the story,” promised actor Bruce Linser, who stars as the conflicted gay son Gavin in “Family Tree,” opening this weekend at the Foundry in Wilton Manors. “It’s very relatable and accessible.”

And, he added, “It’s funny, too, believe it or not.”

For Linser, the similarities are there. He lost his own father, who had some struggles with dementia, in 2017, and while his mother is still alive, he can’t forget the challenges of growing up as a gay man in a small Wisconsin town. He has siblings, too, who are “wonderful and chock-full of drama [in] their own ways.”

Linser is joined onstage by Carbonell winners Lindsey Corey as Gavin’s sister and Elizabeth Dimon as their mother.

“They’re amazing … Lindsey and Elizabeth are so available on the stage as actors, present and lovely to work off of, and [director] Margaret M. Ledford has done gorgeous work in uncovering the layers and levels of the relationships, challenging us to find the fight and find the love between these people. Like it or not, your family is your family. You love them in some ways, and sometimes you don’t.”

The actor was careful not to spoil any plot twists, but he hinted that Dimon’s monologues and the heated sibling rivalry fuel many unexpected hilarious moments.

“We know how to hurt each other, and we do it with jokes,” he revealed.

Playwright Considine has been active in the production, joining rehearsals in the first week and then returning more recently to tweak the work. Linser first became acquainted with the play in his role developing new works with Palm Beach Dramaworks in West Palm Beach.

“That’s how we discovered ‘Family Tree’,” he recalled. “We did a reading as part of the Drama in the Works series at PBD and when it didn’t get selected, I spoke with [artistic director] Bill Hayes. I told him we’d like to do this in South Florida, and he said go for it.”

As a result of what Linser described as “the very supportive and very collaborative local theater community,” the show landed at Plays of Wilton with producer Ronnie Larsen for its world premiere.

“The future of theater is new works,” he said, “and Plays of Wilton is doing a marvelous job galvanizing the community around the theater. Ronnie knows what his audiences want, and so there are plenty of those sexy gay comedies. But, he also knows what good theater is, and he’s not afraid to challenge his audiences with interesting new pieces that aren’t exactly what they’re used to seeing, but will challenge them.”

Recent productions like “Red Speedo,” “108 Waverly,” and now “Family Tree” explored the complex connections between family and unconditional love, Linser noted:

“We, as a cast, have had such intense conversations about what’s going on in this play and between the characters, and I just can’t help but believe that audiences will, too … It’s amazing.”

See the world premiere production of Erin K. Considine’s “Family Tree,” April 18 – May 12 at the Foundry, 2306 Dixie Hwy. in Wilton Manors. Tickets are $37.50 at

This content is brought to you in partnership with Ronnie Larsen Presents and Plays of Wilton (POW!)


Phone: 954-514-7095
Hours: Monday - Friday 9AM - 2PM


2520 N. Dixie Highway,
Wilton Manors, FL 33305



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