Thurs 23rd to Sat 25th September & Tues 28th September to Sat 2nd October 1993
Directed by Pete Woodward
A Double Bill from two of America's most distinguished playwrights, with both short plays being performed each night... Set in New York, The Zoo Story presents a harsh and stark portrait of modern urban life.
'The Zoo Story' is Edward Albee's first play; written in 1958 and completed in just three weeks. It was originally entitled Peter and Jerry. The play explores themes of isolation, loneliness, social disparity and dehumanisation in a commercial world. It premiered in West Berlin in 1959.
This one-act play concerns two characters, Peter and Jerry. Peter is a middle-class publishing executive with a wife, two daughters, two cats and two parakeets who lives in ignorance of the world outside his settled life. Jerry is an isolated and disheartened man who lives in a boarding house and is very troubled. These men meet on a park bench in New York City's Central Park. Jerry is desperate to have a meaningful conversation with another human being. He intrudes on Peter's peaceful state by interrogating him and forcing him to listen to stories from his life, including "The Story of Jerry and The Dog", and the reason behind his visit to the zoo. The action unfolds in front of the audience in real time. The elements of ironic humour and unrelenting dramatic suspense are brought to a climax when Jerry brings Peter down to his own savage level.
This play was staged at Havant Arts Centre, East Street Havant - Bench Theatre's home since 1977. It was part of a USA double Bill, with 'Something Unspoken' being staged in the first half of each evening and 'The Zoo Story' being staged after the interval.
|Stage Manager||Alyse Ashton|
|Lighting Design||Jacquie Penrose|
|Sound and Lighting Operation||Tim Taylor|
|Front of House||Sally Hartley|
Both plays being performed this evening were written by American playwrights in 1958. They are both played by two actors; and are firmly set in the USA.
They are, though quite different in content and tone, and it is this contrast - in what may outwardly seem a neat set of coincidences - that attracted me to the idea of presenting the two plays as a double bill.