Cathrine Goldstein’s play, What Good Did We See Today?, is a very poignant look at the struggles a father and daughter face during the pandemic as his memory slips away and she strives desperately to help him.
Goldstein is an award-winning playwright, and a bestselling author of gritty, real-feeling plays, novels, short stories, and poems. She has a master’s degree in Theatre History, and a bachelor’s degree in English/British Literature. Her work has been featured on many national television and radio shows, and she’s also an experienced 500 RYT yoga instructor, wife, mom, and chocolate addict.
Here, we ask her about her play, herself and her expectations for theater after Covid-19.
- What inspired you to write this play?
I wanted to write a play about the unique challenges that face families dealing with dementia during the pandemic. It was also important to me to write a play that highlighted George’s frustration with his situation as he declines, not just his daughter’s—understandable—desperation.
- What do you think the audience will take away from it, what will they be talking about after seeing it?
I’m hopeful audiences will discuss how life is so very multilayered. It goes on in all its forms—good and bad—even when it’s happening “behind the scenes” of a pandemic. Although the pandemic has been on the forefront of all of our minds, dementia does not stop because of it. George’s caretakers do not get a reprieve. I truly hope people will see the strength of the human spirit from this play. Although it is a difficult topic with heartbreaking subject matter, there is love, and where there is love, there is always hope.
- How and when did you start writing plays?
If you count the endless puppet shows I put on at school as a child, I have written plays forever! I went to college for theatre, and along with degrees in English, I have a master’s degree in Theatre History. One of my very first plays out of college was produced in New York and published, and since then, I have been fortunate to have my work put up in wonderful venues and performed by excellent actors. I’ve been involved with all aspects of the theatre, including directing and running a theatre for many years.
When my oldest daughter was born, I turned to novel writing (I’m a ghostwriter of many novels!). However, my love has always been the theatre—and I am always grateful when one of my plays is produced. Thank you to John Frank and 2nd Act Players for doing such a magnificent job with, What Good Did We See Today. I am honored to be a part of your festival.
- What do you expect from a post-covid theater scene?
One of the things that I love most about theatre-people is their resiliency. There’s a global pandemic? We perform virtually. And putting on a virtual show is not easy. The theatres keep going as best they can for all of us. I hope that those theatre companies forced to close will have the opportunity to reopen. The post-covid theatre scene may take some time, but it will bounce back. As always, the show will go on.