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Showing posts from July, 2016

Good

Good
by C.P. Taylor
produced by PTP/NYC [Potomac Theatre Project]
directed by Jim Petosa
C.P. Taylor’s play Good traces events in the life of an ordinary German who becomes an SS officer. It presents John Halder, a professor of literature and a writer, as he loses his self to evil step by step. He never decides to move to an evil personal place; he ends up there through a series of selfish decisions. Mr. Taylor shows how good men become evil through rationalization and denial. Halder betrays his mother, his wife and his friend. He ends up taking orders directly from Eichmann as he’s discharged to inspect the camp at Auschwitz.
Good is a tragedy because Prof. Halder’s fate is as inevitable as Oedipus’ fate. But he’s not a tragic hero because he meets no resistance. The only real conflict in the play occurs when the professor’s Jewish friend, Maurice, tries to convince Halder to help him to escape to Switzerland. Halder refuses.
PTP/NYC [Potomac Theatre Project] has just produced Good off…

On the Verge

Eric Overmyer engages in some pretty fancy word play in his 1985 play On the Verge or The Geography of Yearning. The play is a language-based fantasy about three women who travel from 1888 to 1955. They set out from Terre Haute to explore a tropical land called Terra Incognita and they end up at a nightclub in a city called Peligrosa.
The erudite dialogue uses an expansive vocabulary and techniques like alliteration and assonance. It takes a few minutes for our ears to realize the demands that the playwright is making, but when we do it’s fun to meet the challenge. One of the women comments on the linguistic acrobats from time to time in a way suited to the time travelers. “I have seen the future and it is slang,” she says. And Overmyer has some fun when the youngest woman occasionally produces malapropisms and then corrects them. “I am dieting to rock and roll. I mean determined, not dieting,” she says.
Still, clever as it is, the playwright’s word play becomes tedious after a while. M…