Friday, January 23, 2009

Play of the Week: Enigma Variations

Dramatists Publishing describes the plot as thus:

Nobel Prize-winning author Abel Znorko lives as a recluse on a remote island in the Norwegian Seas. For fifteen years, his one friend and soul mate has been Helen, from whom he has been physically separated for the majority of their affair. Journalist Erik Larsen arrives to interview Znorko about his latest book, which is, in fact, a transcript of correspondence between the author and Helen. As Larsen seeks to unmask the identity of Helen, Znorko becomes infuriated. Evasions and lies twist into increasingly complex puzzles. Is Larsen really a journalist? Is it possible that both Znorko and Larsen love the same woman? Is Helen still alive? Slowly the barriers between the two men begin to fall as the profound mysteries of intimacy rise in their place.

This play explores the very essence of intimacy by asking how much do we really know about someone? Larsen isn't the journalist - he is Helen's husband and Helen died nearly fifteen years ago. Not only has Larsen known of the affair, but he's carried on Helen's correspondence with Znorko to keep her memory alive. So Znorko has expressed his love not to the woman he loved, but to her husband, and he in kind, replied.

These enigmas are explored fully from the first denial, to awkwardness, to the feeling out of another individual. Take a moment to peruse this play - it is really quite wonderful.

Happy Birthday: Chita Rivera (b. 1933)

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