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24.6.10

The Play About the Baby

by Edward Albee

I'm just gonna come right out and say it. This play was weird.

It is labeled as an absurdist black comedy, so I suppose I should have expected it, but it still surprised me. What I took from it was not so much a story about a baby but a story of emotional manipulation. The Boy and Girl begin the play so in love and so sure of themselves, blissful with their beautiful child. By the end, they are left barren, questioning everything they knew to be true.

The manipulation is dealt by a mysterious Man and Woman for apparently no other reason than:
If you have no wounds, how can you know if you're alive? If you have no scar, how do you know who you are? Have been?
So.......... they think they are helping this young couple by stealing their baby, thereby inflicting pain, and then ultimately convincing them that their baby never existed? There is an innocence about the couple at the beginning that is shattered by these "gypsies," if that is what they are. The young couple seem somewhat unaware of the world and certainly lay themselves open to be toyed with.
Girl: Does that make me happy?    Boy: It should.    Girl: Oh, well, then, it probably does. 
I think plays like this are interesting because they leave so many choices open to us as artists. I feel like I could see six completely different versions of this show that would all have something interesting to say. It's certainly not a play that is "safe." It's gonna make a statement. A bold one!

Thursday Play-a-day: The Seagull by Anton Chekhov, translated by Tom Stoppard

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