North County Rep Theatres “Trying” An Account Of Attorney General Francis Biddle

Set for Trying at North Coast Repertory Theatre - photo by Aaron Rumley

By Kathy Carpenter

James Sutorius as Francis Biddle
Emily Goss as Sarah
photo by Aaron Rumley


North Coast Repertory Theatre continues to stream plays. The latest “Trying,” by Joanna McClelland Glass, written in 2004.  North Coast Repertory Theatre shines with this character driven Masterpiece. Director David Ellenstein spotlights his superior actors in a way only he can. Another sure-fire hit.”

“Maybe the hardest part of life is just having the courage to try.”
― Rachel Hollis

“Trying,: is playwright Joanna McClelland Glass’s story of her time spent as Francis Biddle’s assistant. Biddle served under Franklin D. Roosevelt, also serving as chief judge for The Nuremberg trials. Glass worked for Biddle from 1967 until his death in 1968.

James Sutorius as Francis Biddle
Emily Goss as Sarah
photo by Aaron Rumley

Glass was hired by Biddle’s wife Katharine in hope someone younger might be able to reach him. Biddle kept driving his older assistants off. When Sarah 25, arrives Biddle is not happy to see his wife has chosen someone so young, and to his despair she is not am Ivy league girl.

Biddle is 82, and decided this is his final year of life. Yet he climbs up to an office over the garage everyday. Which naturally tires him and he spends a lot of time resting and sleeping on a couch in the office. Biddle is set in his ways and fighting Alzheimer’s. Fighting Sarah at every turn.

Lucid most of the time Sarah manages to handle him. Even the household staff and his wife come to depend on Sarah to get Biddle to come around. As these story do, no matter your differences if you spend enough time together and try,  mutual respect can be born. “Attempts and actions achieve the ambition.” ― Amit Kalantri, Wealth of Words

James Sutorius as Francis Biddle
Emily Goss as Sarah
photo by Aaron Rumley

Multi-award winning actor, James Sutorous lends his talent as the crusty old Francis Biddle. Drawing us into his world as the compelling story unfolds, Sarah’s boss from hell. Sarah is played by the talented Emily Goss, with a BA in theatre from the University of Southern California.

Emily Goss photo by Aaron Rumley
James Sutorius photo by Aaron Rumley

These kinds of plays are an excellent way to capture on stage glimpses of great people when may have never known at this kind of level. People trying to do the best they can no matter what.





“Trying” with stream March 24 thru April 18, 2021.

North Coast Repertory Theatre

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April 28 – May 23 2021


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