Our numbers aren’t small. We are the ones who hear the news or run into one or another sign of cultural decay and are astonished that we have yet hit another new low. Why did we ever think we’d already arrived at rock bottom? Down, down, down, we go—we cry into our beer, wine or other anesthetic of choice.
Playwright Dawn King has revealed herself as our Poster Girl. She can imagine the trap door to a hell some layers down where our social and political fabric roils with noxious toxins.
King’s imagined world is one where scarce resources have unleashed the British government to an eminent domain over farmers’ lives, among others, where fear is the realm’s main coin. Maybe she had a more thorough think of the implications of government intervention to control Mad Cow Disease. More likely, her pen is informed by a stoic look of just how we are flirting with dystopian realities in near future reach.
In King’s world, if you are a farmer not living up to production standards you will be visited by inspectors who consider every aspect of your business their business. Their charter is to find out if you work with the sly foxes that have been the ruination of the land. You may have your farm and your children taken away. You may be sent to a factory where your continued life expectancy is all of three years.
Be afeared! As are the simple farmer couple Judith Covey (played by Alexandra Fisher) and Samuel Covey (played by David Anthony Marshall) when a foxfinder, William Bloor (played by Jack Olin)comes to visit. This isn’t a casual drive by visit—he moves in and pokes into every conceivable corner, including their most intimate lives, and also pries for secrets about the neighbors, including Judith’s best friend Sarah Box (played by Alanna Rogers).
The story has just begun and most in the audience are likely slightly nauseous with anxiety already. In no small way, this is due to the haunting original music and sound design by Jesse Case. . Discordant strings are loud with rhythms that seem to pulse with anxiety. This is a composer who sonically details the dark side with compact musical phrases that push anything soft or sweet beyond the ears’ reach.
The actors--- all—ARE their characters drawn by King’s pen. We feel their anxiety as if it is our own, likely with the help of Director Margaret Knapp’s hand.
This is the kick-off of Interrobang’s new season that is dedicated to the theme of “what is truth”? Whether it was inspired by Mad Cow disease, Trump's alternative facts, global warming or Jonestown, the truths we see about where humanity can go in the next few minutes are none too reassuring.
Come ready to be disturbed, and also knowing that it’s worth it. No sugar coating here—humanity is on a one-way speed train to hell.
Note: This is now added to the Picture this Post round up of BEST PLAYS IN CHICAGO. Click here to read — Top Picks for Theater in Chicago NOW – Chicago Plays PICTURE THIS POST Loves.
Note: An excerpt of this appears in Theatre in Chicago.
Thru November 5
Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30
Athenaeum Theatre Studio 2
2936 North Southport