Rehearsals are already underway for JAW 2008, and audiences will get their first look at our works in progress next week when the Made in Oregon series commences. The three plays of this series are all by fiercely talented Pacific Northwest writers, each with a radically different perspective about life, love, and yes, landscape.
First up is Matthew B. Zrebski, whose play The Cloud-Bangers gets its concert reading on Tuesday, July 8 (details below).
Q: Matt, in this new play of yours, we’re treated to some rather droll sexual peccadilloes. I love it that your humor in this regard is so affectionate. You don’t seem to be lampooning people’s personal kinks; it feels more like you’re celebrating the romantic diversity of our species. What accounts for this beguiling new light touch in your work?
A: As it has for so many artists, the elusive nature of sexuality has always intrigued me. In much of my work, I have explored it through an angry lens -- mostly my anger at the moralists. But in the past few years I have had the pleasure to work extensively in the public high schools, and I have observed a radical shift from a dichotomic and constrictive sexual paradigm to one where a wide range of exploration is celebrated. This new generation has a different take -- one that I admit strikes a big chord of envy within my heart. And I began to think, if you strip guilt and sin out of sexuality, what you have left is nothing more than innocent curiosity. It has a sort of purity about it...it touches on a kind of utopian model...and it’s really quite beautiful. In The Cloud-Bangers I wanted to investigate the romantic issues through this less angry, more innocent lens. And in many ways, I think this shift has allowed me to find a tone that is, perhaps, quite new in my work. We shall see...
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written and directed by Matthew B. Zrebski
Tuesday, July 8, 7:30 pm
The Ellen Bye Studio Theater @ Portland Center Stage
128 NW Eleventh Avenue (between Couch & Davis)
Admission is FREE, but seating is limited and is provided on a first come, first served basis. See you there.