The play is a memory play and is meant to begin with very little set, mostly lights and empty space. There are two fixed characters, Juliana and Ian, and two actors, one male and female, who play several other characters. The play makes beautiful use of an unreliable narrator.
Juliana is a medical researcher . She is telling the story of what happened to her at a convention where she is unveiling a new drug she has developed.There is a bit of a problem in her reminiscence as it seems that a couple of other memories keep intruding, an argument with her husband Ian, and a very fractured Dr.’s appointment. We feel very much for Juliana and sympathize with her. The text begins to create a terrible sense of unease. She receives a call from her estranged daughter’s husband, a former colleague, and her daughter. Her husband seems hell bent on sabotaging her at every turn, whether in trying to repair relations with her daughter, or helping her negotiate with the doctor she is seeing. She begins to fear that her husband is having an affair with her doctor.
After this wash of kaleidoscope events, the play presents an explosion of heart wrenching exposition and redirection. Things are not as we have been told and we must reassess the entire play, the characters, and their motivations. The staging at this point is meant to focus on one pivotal scene, which it is meant to be played very realistically, eschewing the dreamlike quality.
The play is an emotionally intense one. I like it quite a bit. I don’t think the double casting of the other roles, the woman’s in particular, is necessary. It helps only marginally in that it sets up the disjointed, impressionistic, and theatrical qualities of the beginning. It could also be done to make producing the play easier, having a smaller cast often does. I think, however that having the same person play the Dr., the daughter, and the strange woman, blurs the effectiveness of each.
I’d love to play Ian. Read this if get a chance.