LaBute, Neil (American playwright, feature film writer/director, March 19, 1963-____), “Iphigenia in Orem,”
a __-minute drama in English, set in a a hotel bedroom,
© 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 _____ (m), a Utah businessman.
§ Synopsis “ “The boozy, anti-feminist, Mormon salesman . . . is repelling, even before he recounts his crime and the terrible career justification for it. In one of those unmistakable hotel bedrooms, the man drones on and on. . . . With one hand wrapped around a glass of clear spirit, and free to gesticulate with the other, he starts his spin on events. He tells [the audience] that he lost a child, Emma, five months old. ‘There must be some reason behind it, for so much pain . . . but you just go on . . . you just do’ . . . . Tipped off that there are to be redundancies at work, and knowing that he is a strong candidate for dismissal, he manipulates a situation where he is left in charge of the baby. She gets trapped under the covers of their bed. Instead of pulling her free, he cold-bloodedly sees this as an opportunity not to be wasted. There is an excellent twist to events . . . .”—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. Bash 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.
§ Themes anti-feminism, crime,
death, dismissal, dramatic device of the known outcome, fatherhood, Greek
tragedy, hotel, Latter-day Saints, livelihood, loss, infanticide, sales.
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