LaBute, Neil (American playwright, feature film writer/director, March 19, 1963-____), “Medea Redux,”
a __-minute drama in English, set in an interrogation room, 1999,
© 1999 by Neil LaBute; • in Neil LaBute’s Bash: Latterday Plays (aka Bash: A Gaggle of Saints) (New York: Overlook Press, 1999), ISBN 1585670243, 96 pp; • script/rights available from Broadway Play Publishing, 56 East 81st Street, New York City, New York 10028-0202, telephone 212-772-8334, http://www.broadwayplaypubl.com. • Cited in Long One Acts, in caps, http://www.broadwayplaypubl.com/LongOnes.HTM, accessed July 14, 2002.
§ Dramatis Persona _____ (f), a woman of around thirty.
§ Synopsis “Sitting at a rectangular table beneath a pendant light in a scene recalling Krapp’s Last Tape is the figure of a woman of around thirty. . . . It seems that she is giving a statement, probably to the police. The light brightly illuminates her with the rest of the stage in darkness. She talks to [the audience] with her elbows resting on the table, using her hands for expression. She is divulgent, straightforward, honest and calm. Chain smoking, she recalls her relationship with her English teacher, when she was thirteen and he was much older. Passages of her tale, told without self pity or anger, are lyrical. Her story starts as a love story between her and this man whom [the audience] quickly condemn as an adult who has abused his position. She is abandoned, left with a baby. Still she protects the man and does not judge him. After some years, she takes her child to meet him. He is married but childless. It is this meeting that changes the romantic view that she has had of him all these years and leads to the tragedy. She describes the murder but she does not give [the audience] a clear motivation. It is as if something has snapped.”—A Curtainp Review, Bash: Latterday Plays, http://www.curtainup.com/bash.html, accessed July 14, 2002.
§ Comment Bash contains “Medea Redux,” about a woman’s complex and ultimately tragic relationship with her junior high school English teacher; “Iphigenia in Orem,” about a Utah businessman’s confessing to a stranger in a Las Vegas hotel room a horrendous crime; and “A Gaggle of Saints” about a young Mormon couple who separately recall a violent anniversary weekend in New York City. The three study complexities of evil in everyday life, exhibiting LaBute's signature raw lyrical intensity. The playwright specifies that the three one-acts may not be licensed separately. • Premiered at the Douglas Fairbanks Theater, New York City, June, 1999, starring Calista Flockhart, Paul Rudd and Ron Eldard, directed by Joe Mantello. Bash ran February and March, 2000, at The Almeida Theatre, Islington, London N1, England.—A Curtainp Review, Bash: Latterday Plays, http://www.curtainup.com/bash.html, accessed July 14, 2002.
§ Themes abandonment, child molestation,
dramatic device of the known outcome, fatherhood, Greek tragedy, infanticide,
Latter-day Saints, Medea, motherhood, teacher-student relationship.
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