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According to Deep Dish Theater Company's artistic director, Paul Frellick, A.R. Gurney's Ancestral Voices is not a holiday play, but "its guiding principle is family and the bonds that supersede all others." (The cast is pictured.) It's also a concert play written to be read aloud, in which the narrator looks back to his childhood in Buffalo in the 30s and 40s. In the drama, the divorce of the narrator's grandparents shocks his family, as the grandmother goes off to marry the grandfather's best friend. Taking place on the eve of the second world war, the play weaves together the upheaval in the city of Buffalo and the world at large. "This play is very much of a piece with Gurney's other work," says Frellick. "It's wryly observed but gently comic, with a great eye and ear to period detail." One innovation in this production is the inclusion of music of the period, performed by a piano player, who accompanies the reading. "Ancestral Voices is something of a radio play, so we wanted to enhance the aural qualities of it," says Frellick. See it Thursday-Saturday, Dec. 6-15, at 8 p.m and Sun., and Dec. 9 at 3 p.m. at University Mall in Chapel Hill. Call 967-6934 or 933-5281 for details.

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