I’m struck by the music of the play, the way it moves like a soap opera or a melodrama or a dream or a memory. The potential for distortions, for illusions and exaggerations is exciting. What is the relationship between Tom and world he creates? Tom and the audience? The other characters seem to be trapped in a box of Tom’s creation, but at the same time and in opposition to that the story has a way of trapping him.
Phantasmagoria which really just means haunting. Yesterday at tablework for Tooth of Crime we were playing with the idea of the doppleganger: a ghostly version of yourself who haunts you as you move throughout the world. You’re sitting in a cafe and you look out the window and see yourself walking down the street. You run out the door and the figure is gone. You look at your face in the mirror long enough and suddenly wrinkles begin to develop on your face. You begin to look older and older. 40. 50. 60. 80. Dead. And sad. Very sad. Or disappointed? What you thought you saw in the mirror is actually a vision of yourself from 5 years ago, 10. What is it about the idea of crippling, in the mind, the way that we are prisoners of our own thoughts and memories.
How is this play a machine to fix Laura, rather than a tragedy about her inaction? It seems like everything is provided for her. Amanda tells her what she needs to hear: “I won’t entertain any of your silliness.” Forcibly pushed to answer the door, to grow up, to come out and step into her life. Jim tells her exactly what we’re thinking in the audience, exactly what we all wish we heard at our lowest moments. He’s the one guy she’s ever liked and he gets her to dance with him! He kisses her! WHY DOES HE KISS HER? For the first time I don’t know if I really believe that her life is over when he leaves. It certainly makes you cry to think about that, but really? No Jim no Tom and these women's lives are over?
What is the story of the poem on the shoebox? What happens to the unicorn after it loses its horn? Is Amanda a good cook? Does the power ever get turned back on? Are the actors actors that Tom has hired to haunt him? Is Tom an actor? Are the actors apparitions and Tom is drunk on absinthe and muttering in a gutter? What is the nature of space in this place? It feels thick to me. Or is it like an embalming fluid? A gel suspension? Do we need to reconstruct parts of it as we go, because it’s not there at first, until we need to get the thing from the bureau that we forgot was there? Should we feel trapped? Free to leave at any time? Struggling to piece together the details? I pictured a camera zooming and swooping, very choreographed gestures, music. I’d be very interested in following every stage direction to the letter, to its logical conclusion.