Potomac Theatre Project is an Off-Broadway powerhouse of veteran and emerging talent creating socially and politically acute theatre for the 21st century. In its 3 1/2 decades, the voices of PTP’s writers have addressed the necessity and difficulty of art, homelessness, censorship, pornography, AIDS, totalitarianism, apartheid and gender wars—always in passionate, deeply human terms. Playwrights whose work is often seen on the company’s stages include Howard Barker, Caryl Churchill, Harold Pinter and Neal Bell; recent seasons included Vaclav Havel and Bertolt Brecht.
A man encounters a woman whom he finds enormously attractive. Introductions ensue and the subsequent exchange of “viscous bodily feelings” is a contest of wit that spirals into an unique seduction. In this wham-bam 40 minute encounter, histories are revealed, clichés avoided and a unique post-coital recognition is achieved. Steven Berkoff’s language is visceral, humorous and provocative, but it is always authentic and honest.
Standing on the Edge of Time begins by calling the ghosts of a vanished theatre to life. As Mac Wellman’s characters say in Crowbar:
‘What exactly is a theater again?
Kinda big place. Red walls.
Like the inside of a human heart.
Only bigger, and not as empty.’
All theatres are haunted – by history as well as the immediate life outside their doors. The door of our theatre tonight opens to look at meanings – home, the Internet, community, no community, power, loss, love. The experiences of our company come from many different decades, many different Americas, many different life trajectories. All of these stories in some way illuminate our present.
Sharing the experience of life in the extreme is the stuff of poetry.
Expressed through the voice – an experiment in speech and song – we can discover something about the endurance of Anne Sexton’s complex journey. The enfleshment of her poetry through speech, song, and performance breathes life into those words, even as the poet, herself, makes an ultimate exit.
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