A Gaggle of Saints
LaBute, Neil (American playwright, feature film writer/director, March 19, 1963-____), “A Gaggle of Saints,”
a __-minute drama 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. The playwright specifies that the three one-acts (running time 2 hours and five minutes) may not be licensed separately.
• Cited in Long One Acts, in caps, http://www.broadwayplaypubl.com/LongOnes.HTM, accessed July 14, 2002.
_____ (m), a well heeled college boy, WASP; _____ (m), _____; _____ (f), a well heeled college girl, WASP.
“[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.
• “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, starring Calista Flockhart, Paul Rudd and Ron Eldard, directed by Joe Mantello, premiered at the Douglas Fairbanks Theater, New York City, June .
• “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.
• “Neil LaBute (born March 19, 1963) is an American film director, screenwriter, and playwright. Born in Detroit, Michigan, LaBute was raised in Spokane, Washington. He studied theater at Brigham Young University (BYU), where he joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS church; see also Mormon). At BYU he also met actor Aaron Eckhart, who would later play leading roles in several of his films. He produced a number of plays that pushed the envelope of what was acceptable at the conservative religious university, some of which were shut down after their premieres. LaBute also did graduate work at the University of Kansas, New York University, and the Royal Academy of London. In 1993 he returned to Brigham Young University to premier his play In the Company of Men, for which he received an award from the Association for Mormon Letters. He taught drama and film at IPFW in Fort Wayne, Indiana in the early 1990s where he adapted and filmed the play, shot over two weeks and costing $25,000, beginning his career as a film director. The film won the Filmmakers Trophy at the Sundance Film Festival, and major awards and nominations at the Deauville Film Festival, the Independent Spirit Awards, the Thessaloniki Film Festival, the Society of Texas Film Critics Awards and the New York Film Critics Circle. LaBute has received high praise from critics for his edgy and unsettling portrayals of human relationships. In the Company of Men portrays two misogynist businessmen (one played by Eckhart) cruelly plotting to romance and emotionally destroy a deaf woman. His next film Your Friends & Neighbors (1998), with an ensemble cast including Eckhart and Ben Stiller, was a shockingly honest portrayal of the sex lives of three suburban couples. In 2000 he wrote and directed an off-Broadway play entitled Bash: Latter-Day Plays, a set of three short plays depicting essentially good Latter-day Saints doing disturbing and violent things. One of the plays was a much-talked-about one-person performance by Calista Flockhart. This play resulted in his disfellowship (a softer form of discipline that does not remove the member from the membership rolls, unlike excommunication) from the LDS Church. He has since formally left the church. LaBute's 2002 play The Mercy Seat was one of the first major theatrical responses to the September 11, 2001 attacks. Set on September 12, it concerns a man who worked at the World Trade Center but was away from the office during the attack — with his mistress. Expecting that his family believes that he was killed in the towers' collapse, he contemplates using the tragedy to run away and start a new life with his lover. Starring Liev Schreiber and Sigourney Weaver, the play was a commercial and critical success, due in large part to its willingness to confront the myths that many New Yorkers had constructed to console themselves in the aftermath of the attacks. LaBute's latest film is The Wicker Man, an American version of a British cult classic. His first horror film, it starred Nicolas Cage and Ellen Burstyn and was released on September 1, 2006 by Warner Bros. Pictures to scathing critical reviews and mediocre box office. His latest play to open in the US, Wrecks, starring Ed Harris, opened to excellent reviews, and an extended, sold out run at the Public Theater in New York City, in October, 2006. He is working with producer Gail Mutrux on the screen adaptation of The Danish Girl by David Ebershoff. Neil is also a Jury Memeber of the on going Filmaka short film contest.”—Neil LaBute - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neil_LaBute, accessed June 5, 2007.
• Photograph frem Salon.com People | Mormon misogynist goes soft, http://archive.salon.com/people/feature/2002/09/04/labute/index.html, accessed June 5, 2007.
anniversary, homosexuality, Latter-day Saints, murder, violence.