DramaCentre presents Martin Crimp's dream-like scenarios

November 08, 2004

Centre College drama students will present a public production of Martin Crimp's 17 "scenarios for the theatre," titled "Attempts on Her Life."

Crimp is known for exploring aspects of contemporary life, including the alienation of individuals and the darker moments of human relationships. In "Attempts on Her Life," Crimp's scenarios turn the definition of "play" on its head.

Crimp presents the audience with a series of darkly comic, irony-laden scenarios in which the identity of a mysterious woman is repeatedly imagined, discussed, dissected and then dismissed. Who is she? A romantic young woman, a suicidal artist, an international terrorist, a refugee mother, or even a car? The audience plays the role of detective, piecing together scattered clues in search of her identity.

Director Patrick Kagan-Moore says, "For us, Martin Crimp's play has been a dream-like 'trip' through the mechanics of postmodern life - making and unmaking meanings; catching the thread of plot, then losing - or willfully destroying - it; laying claim to identities that are subsequently undermined by events or simply cast off as no longer useful."


"Attempts on Her Life" has been described by one critic as "a bit like the theatrical equivalent of playing tennis without a net." There is no plot in the traditional sense, a central character doesn't actually appear on stage, and there are no real supporting characters.

Crimp's script doesn't provide a net for the director, either.

"I had never encountered a play with so few clues to production," says Kagan-Moore. "No indication of setting or time, of costumes or props.

"Crimp seemed to embrace character as a powerful mask, the substance of human storytelling - and at the next moment to destabilize the very idea of identity, depicting meaning as mere show and cheap tricks."

The cast includes: Emily Anderson, Karen Biscopink, Adam Brown, David Brown, Chad Dike, Julia Liest, Colin McCann, Ginger Pennington, Emily Tate and Adam Watson.

Kagan-Moore is professor of dramatic arts at Centre College, where he has taught since 1992. He holds the Charles T. Hazelrigg Professorship in Dramatic Arts. A teacher and producing theatre artist for more than 30 years, Kagan-Moore has directed over 75 productions in professional, academic, and community settings.

The performances will take place at 8 p.m. Nov. 10-13 in Weisiger Theatre at the Norton Center for the Arts. Tickets may be purchased at the box office at Centre College's Norton Center for the Arts or by calling (859) 236-4692.

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