by Charles Mee
Director John Schmor
Scenic Design by Jonathon Taylor
Costumes by Anie Smith
Lighting Design and Technical Direction by Janet Rose
Sound Design by Ryan Rusby
Cast: Woman in Blue with Cane: MAGGIE CORONA-GOLDSTEIN, Woman in Orange with Pipes: SHENEA DAVIS, Bob’s Mom: BRITTANY DORRIS, Susan: KELSEY MCKEAN, Phil’s Girl: LACY ALLEN, Girl on Rollerskates: OLIVIA WALTON, Becker: RILEY SHANAHAN, Phil: DILLON PILORGET, Allen: JONATHAN JAMES, Carl: SUNIL HOMES, Wilson: JOSH LANGE, Delivery Boy: CHRIS DANIELS
I wonder if part of what it means to be “American” is to be constantly wondering what it means to be “American.” And I wonder if at the core is a historical feeling that some “other America” is lost? In our arts and histories we have a peculiar emphasis on what is lost to us, usually in the Odyssean tradition of nostalgia, yearning for, journeying, home. In our case, a “home” that perhaps never was. Not quite anyway. I do remember, like Becker, being allowed as a child to play with girls and boys in the woods all day – our parents were not fueled by the fear that seems both appropriate to our times and sadly a measure of something lost.
Robert Rauschenberg is an artist who buoyantly collects cultural detritus from a lost “America” and remakes their relation to our experience into a message Paul Eluard promised: “There is another world. And it is in this one.” This play by Charles Mee is not coherent in the conventional sense of a “play” – perhaps in the same way we are not “American” in any coherent “America.” I doubt a coherent America exists – except in wondering, striving, resisting, re-making. With threads of both violence and frivolity, both history and amnesia, Rauschenberg’s “America” is a movement of frictional wonders, not a place or a time.