As a rule, I don’t review the work of friends or close colleagues, and as I sit on the board of the League of Independent Theater, for which John Clancy serves as executive director, I’m passing on writing a full-on review of his play, The Event, which is running in the New York International Fringe Festival.
That said, I saw the piece last night (it’s a solo play starring Matt Oberg, p;ictured), and in addition to the clever metatheatrics that spurt off like rockets in the night, there is a passage, smack in the middle of the hourlong piece, that I thought was some of the most trenchant dramatic writing I’ve come across in some time. I don’t want to divulge too much about the metatheatrics, but I do want you to read this passage — and then go see the piece.
A mild, mostly benign schizophrenia is evident everywhere. Our collective memory drained like a swamp in the south of Iraq, our ability to stay focused on one thing over the course of a few days severely impaired and finally destroyed by the buffering and battering of the daily, hourly, constant news flashes, the breaking news breaking down our doors of perception. The media barking at us like prison camp dogs, freezing us in place, terrified, afraid to move.
The world has somehow transformed itself into a dark, chaotic nightmare we cannot wake out of.
Every age has had its terrors and every generation has been certain that it will be the last. Any cursory reading of History tells us that all golden ages were nickel-plated for those who toiled through them, but even so, this feels different.
We have become, somehow, deep down, unmoored.