Monday, October 26, 2009

20th Century Experimental Drama #3

In 10th grade, I think it was, I went to see a friend's school play. The play was The Skin of Our Teeth, by Thornton Wilder. It is part of the play that several of the characters "break character" and speak as the actors, though of course what they say as "themselves" is also scripted, and includes telling stories that are not likely to be true of the real actors. I remember leaving the theatre, going home, and ordering the play from the library, because I simply could not tell how much of this was intentional. (It happened that one of the actors actually was sick and had to be replaced last minute, which added to the confusion.)

Now, three years later, I'm reading this play for a class. It is totally absurd, ice age meets biblical stories meets average 1940s American family. The play was written in 1942, so there are certain overtones of World War II, with a war in the background of the play and the feeling that the world is constantly coming to an end. Which is basically the message of the play, the whole Keep Calm and Carry On idea. So there's that and the absurdity, and all in all it's a very funny, very good play, and you should definitely see it if you ever get the chance.

Are you getting sick of hearing about plays? I've read more I haven't even talked about, too.

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