Original Play Saving for 17 Unmasks Growth in the Face of Catastrophe

By: Arin Sheehan, 
September 10, 2021

The Department of Performing & Media Arts reignites live theater at Cornell with its first stage play since the return of in-person instruction in Saving for 17. The show notably marks the directing debut of author and producer Owen Reynolds ‘25, who hopes the play will help audience members understand “it's okay to be yourself.”

Saving for 17 is a semi-autobiographical, tragicomedy about a family’s experiences during Hurricane Irma in Miami and the Florida Keys in 2017. The one-act follows the canceled birthday party of a young man as he learns to love himself even while being alone.

The play, according to Reynolds, was born from a PMA class he had taken, where he realized that “due to the last four years and more now than ever because of COVID, we have lost our sense of community as a society.”

“You don't need to surround yourself with others to validate your personality or who you are,” says Reynolds. “The show is about being comfortable with yourself, by yourself, and I dearly hope that this message gets through to the people who need to hear it.”

The free show will open on September 30th at 7:30 p.m., with additional performances on October 1st at 5:00 p.m., and October 2nd at 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Seating will be on a first-come, first-served basis. University mask mandates will be closely followed to ensure the safety of both cast and audience members.

 

Saving for 17 Poster