|Getting Out||Arthur Dirks
By Marsha Norman
Produced: April, 1989
The play develops as incidents in the apartment trigger prison memories and experiences, with the principal character played by two actors. This production was given thrust staging, with 120 people seated on stage around the setting.
The simultaneous locations of the apartment and the prison make it a challenge, and the idea was to integrate them as much as possible. Keeping everything visible for all the audiences required very tight space management, but the integration of current and past reality in the play supports it. Vignettes were played at the foot of the steps.
The cell had a working, rolling, clanking cell door and bars on the upstage edge. The prison was continued abstractly above the apartment, and the guard walked there, making long crosses to the cell. He was underlit through a floor grate
The director arranged an afternoon for the company to talk to a group of inmates at the Framingham correctional facility for women. What we saw was spare old brickwork with exposed utilities, barely updated to meet current needs, and given a fresh coat of paint - only a limited amount of modern stainless steel. The background of pipes and painted brick was everywhere.
The women we met were in an open dormitory. Every one of them was there because of drugs, committing crimes either to get them or to pay for them. Many had young children they barely see. It was very sad.
|© 2007 Arthur L. Dirks|