LaBute, Neil (American playwright, feature film writer/director, March 19, 1963-____), “A Gaggle of Saints,”
a __-minute _____ in English, set in a recollection,
© 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 Personae _____ (m), a well heeled college boy, WASP; _____ (m), _____; _____ (f), a well heeled college girl, WASP.
§ Synopsis “[A] well heeled college boy and girl, WASPs, . . . relate the events of a party night, addressing the audience alternately but never speaking to each other. He is zany and amusing, she is pretty and pleasant. [After] the account, which starts off filled with superficial details about what they drive and wear and ends with the boy talking about the unprovoked murder of a middle aged homosexual in a lavatory, the stage goes dark, a huge shadow dominating. The scene ends as it started, with a flash of light.”—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 (running time 2 hours and five minutes) may not be licensed separately. • Bash, starring Calista Flockhart, Paul Rudd and Ron Eldard, directed by Joe Mantello, premiered at the Douglas Fairbanks Theater, New York City, June, 2000. • “Also in 2000, an Off-Broadway play written and directed by LaBute was filmed and shown on Showtime. ‘bash: latterday plays’ (which has also been titled ‘bash: a gaggle of saints’) is actually a set of three plays about violent and highly disturbed individuals who happen to be Latter-day Saints. The earliest form of this play was published as Bash: A Remembrance of Hatred and Longing, in the December 1995 issue of Sunstone. LaBute called it a play about essentially good people who do some very bad things. The actors, who played multiple characters, were Ron Eldard, Paul Rudd and Calista Flockhart. . . . LaBute said that he had simply written about the people and culture he knows well, and that the plot was not inherently LDS-oriented. Realizing that the effectiveness of the piece was diminished by the distracting LDS references, LaBute actually removed the LDS references and made the characters more ‘generic’ when he staged the show in London.”—Neil LaBute - Director, http://www.ldsfilm.com/directors/LaBute.html, accessed July 14, 2002. • Bash ran February and March, 2000, at The Almeida Theatre, Islington, London N1, England.
§ Themes anniversary, homosexuality,
Latter-day Saints, murder, violence.
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