Christopher Durang


Longer One Act Plays
(between 30 and 60 minutes)
 

' dentity Crisis
 
(30 minutes approximately)

PRODUCTION HISTORY:

‘dentity Crisis had its professional premiere at the Yale Repertory Theatre in New Haven, Connecticut, on a double bill with Robert Auletta’s “Guess Work,” on October 13, 1978.  The direction of ‘dentity Crisis was by Frank Torok, scenery by Michael H. Yeargan, costumes by Marjorie Graf, lighting by Robert Jared.

 

The cast was:

   

Jane

........................................

Katherine Clarke
Edith Fromage ........................................ Darcy Pulliam
Robert (Dwayne, Father, Count, etc.) ........................................ Mark Linn-Baker
Mr. Summers ........................................ David K. Miller
Woman ........................................ Nancy Mayans

Some reviews included:

...irreverent mixture of parody, satire, theater jokes, and nonsense.
      New Haven Register

Durang's writing is short and sharp moments of wit and hilarity.
     
Variety

THE STORY Recovering from a nervous breakdown, Jane is nursed and nagged by her energetic and overwhelming mother, Edith Fromage, who claims to have invented cheese.  She also criticizes Jane for her suicide attempt, but then claims it never happened.  Plus Jane is very confused by the fact that her mother and her brother Dwayne seem to be having an affair.  But then at other times, her brother turns into her father, and then into her grandfather, and sometimes into a French count.  So Jane isn’t really sure who he is.  Her psychiatrist makes a house call and listens sympathetically to Jane’s recurring memory of attending a nightmarish production of “Peter Pan” in her youth.  But then he goes off and has sex change, and returns as a woman, and Jane has trouble recognizing him.  Then his wife shows up, also with a sex change, and the wife now looks like the psychiatrist.  So poor Jane feels crazier still, though Edith and Dwayne/father/ grandfather/count think the new company is great fun, and everybody ends by conjugating the verb “dentity” : I dentity, you dentity, he she or it denties.

Note: Jane’s “Peter Pan” monologue has become somewhat famous through much use in high school forensics.

 
  Photos from Yale Repertory production:
Far left: Katherine Clarke watches as Grandfather Mark Linn-Baker has a coughing fit.  While mother Darcy Pulliam looks on.
Closer left: Edith (Darcy Pulliam) triumphantly invents banana bread, to the delight of the Count (Mark Linn-Baker).

Cast: 2 male, 3 female, 5 total.
Rights:  
Dramatists Play Service


 

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