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bobrauschenbergamerica

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

Director’s Notes:

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.

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