Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A Candidacy of Dunces, a play by Mel Neet

Mel wrote a play about a presidential election that takes place 100 years after Watergate. One candidate reminds me of Palin, the other a Clintonesque humanist standing on the shoulders of the Kennedy Family. I listened to a staged reading. In the setless blackbox space, I could see the future with these familiar people within the dazzle of flat screens, lights, and immediate post-digital connection.

After the staged reading, the audience, facilitated by a seasoned theatre crafter, discussed the story, the characters, plot, and other topics. Great stuff. Someone used the word “dystopia”. With Hunger Games sprinting into the collective American consciousness, dystopian worlds like 1984’s, or Brave New World’s world connect with people. Or perhaps we’re living in a dystopian world now and the popularity comes from a familiarity rather than curiosity. So, consider "dystopia" an anachronism. I have over the past few days.

Now I see the play as a narrative about loss and depression; a timeless process, no matter the world wherein it takes place. That’s the spine of the story to me.

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