Off-Broadway Play ‘An Awkward Inheritance’ to debut in Virginia City this weekend 

Virginia City will be the home for the Off-Broadway play ‘An Awkward Inheritance’ this weekend, which was written as a love story to Northern Nevada and the people who live here. 

Nevada-raised Elise Milner’s play was first performed Off-Broadway in 2019 and sold out on opening night, just before the pandemic shut down struck. 

While we can’t give too much of the plot away, the story revolves around Mabel Kane, a spunky, notorious community leader of a tiny town in Northern Nevada, who has recently passed and left her estate behind to her three estranged and dysfunctional children. However, what her children find when they travel to the small town to settle her estate (and take the cash and run) is sure to be both entertaining and life-altering. 

The play debutes on July 15 at Piper’s Opera House in Virginia City. 

Elise Milner and Co-Director Suzanne Lynn at Pipers Opera House – image: courtesy of Elise Milner

“Casting came together great,” said Milner. “Everyone is perfect for their roles and we are having a blast rehearsing. Most of us have all our lines memorized and we are super excited for opening night.”

Milner said that, while there haven’t been many hurdles to overcome in transferring the play from Broadway to Nevada, they’ve had to be cognizant of community health, but have taken steps to make sure the event is safe for all to attend. 

“Working post-COVID in Theater, our goal is to keep everyone healthy and having fun,” said Milner. “The play has such a powerful message, both in the comedy and the drama, that we really encourage everyone to come out and have a great time.” 

Piper’s Opera House has been integral to getting the play to local audiences. When Milner called just to ask questions about potential rental fees, she left the conversation with a booked show — as well as having to only pay a percentage of the box to host the play there, as opposed to renting the entire facility. 

“Pipers is amazing; performing and directing on a stage that WC Fields and Houdini performed on is spectacular,” said Milner. “The space feels vast, special, and comfortable, despite the warm summer days. Best of all, this is our first show back since the pandemic here in northern Nevada for this New York-based production company, and we are just all thrilled to be back working on a stage.”

Piper’s Opera House – image: Jimmy Emerson, DVM, cc 2.0

Since the very beginning of production, the play has already generated community support and sponsorship and is being performed by local actors, and a local crew to run the lights and sound.  

Tickets are $30 and can be purchased by visiting

There are three showtimes in all:

  • Friday, July 15 at 8 p.m.
  • Saturday, July 16 at 8 p.m.
  • Sunday, July 17 at 3 p.m.

    Kelsey Penrose grew up in Carson City, Nevada is an alumna of Arizona State University, and is currently pursuing a Master’s in Creative Writing with Sierra Nevada University. She lives and gardens in Washoe Valley. Support Kelsey’s work for the Sierra Nevada Ally here.

    Founded in 2020, the Sierra Nevada Ally is a self-reliant 501c3 nonprofit publication with no paywall, a member of the Institute for Nonprofit News, offering unique, differentiated reporting, factual news, and explanatory journalism on the environment, conservation, and public policy, while giving voice to writers, filmmakers, visual artists, and performers. We rely on the generosity of our readers and aligned partners.

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