This is our seventh production in this theater, in what still feels like our new high school. For the most part, we have put on plays-which-are-not-really-plays. In most plays you find on the shelf, only two or three characters are on stage at any given time, and they are usually the same people. Since this isn’t much fun for everybody else in the play, we have been looking for ways to get more people on the stage more of the time. One way to do this is to draw bits of material from a variety of sources, get everybody on stage to play with the different pieces, and create dramatic collages that are imagistic rather than character- or plot-driven.
This time we’ve taken excerpts from three full-length plays. The Fever, by Wally Shawn, is a monologue in which a man visiting a poor country, unable to sleep one night, realizes for the first time that the things he most loves in life are available to him only because of the labor and poverty of most other people. In the Blood, by the remarkable young playwright Suzan Lori-Parks, shows the life of a woman and her five illegitimate children who live under a bridge in a large city. Scenes from American Life, by A.R. Gurney, Jr., is a series of very short comedy vignettes about the decline of an aristocratic clan in Buffalo, NY.