The past decade has been a busy one for actress Kelly Wolf, but most of her work has been off screen, not on.
While her long television resume begins with an appearance on a CBS Schoolbreak Special back in 1984, her career the past 10 years has been limited due to her parenting duties. Her son, Max Burkholder, who played Max Braverman on the hit NBC series “Parenthood” between 2010 and 2015, has been the top priority.
“He’s a freshman at Harvard, so I’m going to have a little more time to work myself,” said Wolf, who plays an American expatriate living in France in the Capital Repertory Theatre world premiere production of Steven Peterson’s “Paris Time,” opening Friday and running through Feb. 18. “And, I love the theater. The theater really is my first love, and I’m going to try to do as much as I can.”
Sharing the Cap Rep stage with Wolf will be Marcel Jeannin as her husband, Charlie, a consultant for a major U.S. firm with various global concerns. When an anti-semetic terrorist incident occurs in Paris, their lives are changed forever.
“My character is looking for something fulfilling to do, and I kind of take under my wing a young female photographer in my husband’s firm,” said Wolf. “I find myself and my passion, and this young woman and I get involved with a human rights organization in Paris.”
None of the violence occurs onstage.
“We’re all reacting to events that happened offstage,” said Wolf. “The play is about how we deal with it.”
Gordon Greenberg is directing the Cap Rep show, which paints a negative picture of strong nationalism.
“This play is about what is taking place in France right now,” Greenberg said in a news release about the production. “Our news here, in the U.S., is more colloquial, so we generally don’t see it. But it was brought home to us in August, with the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. We, too, in America, are leaning toward a frightening racial conservatism; and people who don’t believe in anything will be stoking that for personal gain.”
Greenberg, who has directed several shows at Cap Rep, first came to the venue in 1991 as an actor in “Peacetime.” Also in that show was Wolf.
“I learned about the play from Gordon, who I worked with previously at Capital Rep way back when,” said Wolf. “He sent me the script and I fell in love with it. I relish the opportunity to be a part of this new piece of work.”
Wolf guest-starred in numerous TV shows throughout the late 1980s and 1990s, incuding “Kate & Allie,” “ThirtySomething,” “ER” and “Graveyard Shift,” to name a few. She also had a handful of gigs in the 2000s, including “Grey’s Anatomy” in 2007, but soon after that appearance and having her second son, her priorities changed.
“We have two sons and the older one never did any acting,” said Wolf. “Max, our younger one, just had a propensity for it. He loved it and it all happened naturally. My husband and I felt we could control things and protect him from what we knew were all the pitfalls in show business, and so far I think we’ve been successful.”
Wolf said the highlight of her own career is appearing in “Triumph of the Spirit,” a 1989 film directed by Christopher Crowe. It was about the holocaust and starred Willem Dafoe, Edward James Olmos and Robert Loggia.
“It was filmed at and about Auschwitz,” said Wolf. “I’m so proud about being a part of that film. It was a life-changing experience for me.”
Sharing the stage with Wolf and Jeannin this month will be Jenny Ashman and Wally Dunn, who have both performed in New York and around the country, and Capital Region favorite Tom Templeton, who has also performed at the Schenectady Civic Playhouse and Curtain Call Theatre.
WHERE: Capital Repertory Theatre, 111 N. Pearl St.
WHEN: Previews begin Friday; show opens Tuesday and runs through Feb. 18; performances are at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, 8 p.m. Friday, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, and 3 p.m. Sunday
HOW MUCH: $55-$20; students with valid ID, $15
MORE INFO: 518-445-7469, www.capitalrep.org