ALBANY, N.Y. – From the theater that brought you the world premiere of “Custom Cuts” by Brian Sheldon, we now present you with “Mrs. Packard” by Emily Mann, making it our 11th consecutive debut to the Capital Region! Close out your year with the Harbinger crew with our last show of the year!

“Mrs. Packard” is a play written by Emily Mann that premiered in 2007. It’s based on the true story of Elizabeth Packard, a 19th-century woman who was involuntarily committed to an insane asylum by her husband after she disagreed with his religious beliefs and questioned his authority. The play explores themes of gender inequality, power dynamics within marriage, and the struggle for women’s rights and autonomy during that era.

In “Mrs. Packard,” the central character, ‘Elizabeth Packard,’ who will be played by Kathleen Carey, is a strong-willed and resilient woman fighting against societal constraints and her husband’s attempts to silence her. Her husband, ‘Theophilus Packard,’ who will be played by Richard Michael Roe, is portrayed as controlling and authoritarian, representing the oppressive attitudes towards women in the 19th century. Other characters include doctors, asylum staff, and individuals who either support or challenge Elizabeth’s plight, highlighting the societal norms and conflicts surrounding women’s rights and mental health treatment during that time.

“It didn’t seem possible to not have heard about this inspiring and resilient woman who, during the Civil war era, was committed to an asylum just because she disagreed with her husband. It not only made me ashamed but enraged me as well,” said director Chris Foster. 

Featuring our most extensive and diverse cast yet, the lineup includes Monet Thompson-Young, Cindy Campbell, Victoria Vine, John Quinan, Sara Paupini, Jean Carney, Tiffany McWilliams, Jennie Sinnott, Michael Schaefer, Robin Leary, John Scala, JJ Paul, Michael Gialanella, and Kerry Kazmierowicztrimm.

“Mrs. Packard,” directed by Chris Foster, showcases a talented team behind the scenes. Stage manager Lauren D’Annibale ensures seamless execution, while Nicky Lightz’s lighting design and Joshua Horowitz’s sound design set the atmospheric tone. Costume designer Beth Ruman adds authenticity to the production. Together, they enrich the powerful narrative of “Mrs. Packard.”

Don’t miss out on “Ladies Night” with the Harbinger family! On December 9th, Laura Graver, will host this special evening where every woman is automatically entered into the raffle for prizes! Guests will be treated to favors and delectable indulgences exclusively on this night.

Speaking to Highlander News, Bella Merlin said, “In a play about what is sanity and insanity, and attempting to figure out who you can trust; she certainly is a woman of conviction. Mrs. Packard’s greatest quality is her adherence to truth, and to the truth about what her story teaches society: That women deserve much better than simply being seen as objects to be owned.”

Experience “Mrs. Packard” during its run from Thursday to Saturday nights, spanning from December 7th to December 16th at Albany Barn. Tickets are priced at $15, but join us for a complimentary preview on December 6th at 7:30 PM. Additionally, engage in Friday Night Talkbacks on December 8th and 15th. Tickets can be purchased at the door, available for both cash and Venmo transactions.

Tickets can also be purchased on the Harbinger’s Eventbrite here:

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