A Trilogy by Arthur Meiselman
Part I. Awakening
The first in a set of three plays: Awakening/Journey/Dreams.
Though the trilogy embraces the discovery and development of two
characters, each play stands on its own.
This is a play about modern love. It is a pure ensemble work. Though
it requires strong production values, it is easy to produce and stage.
The challenge to the actors is unrelenting because it demands a level
of emotional truth and craft that is not easy to come by.
The year is 1976. A rainy, late Autumn Friday in New York. Five
brothers and sisters have gathered for the funeral of their mother.
Though this was a typical middle-class Jewish family, the
passing-on of the parents has opened up the core of
threads that binds them together--- and the threads are unraveling.
What was typical has become bizarre.
What was comfortable has become frightening. What was secure has become unstable and chaotic.
Against a backdrop of accumulated disillusionment, the 1960's, the
Kennedy assassinations, the Vietnam war, the Nixon fiasco, these five
place themselves in confrontation with each other and with the world
they live in.
During a 24-hour period, they tear apart the myths they've created
about who they are and what they have become. Nothing follows
the comfort of tradition. In the morning, solemnity dissolves
into a raucous drunken party in which they pledge themselves to
a "new order" and dance away old relationships. In the afternoon,
the funeral is marred by the refusal of one them to attend. In the
evening, the last traditional coming-together ends in another
rampage -- driven by caustic humor, stinging innuendo, and cast in a
dance of voyeuristic picture-taking. The montage explodes!
An unexpected and unfathomable revelation emerges -- a love affair
between a brother and a sister -- a romantic, undaunted, attempt
by two of them to capture a dream. What may have been bizarre becomes normal; what was normal remains
twisted. And the day ends in a near-tragic series of events that almost results in tabloid