America Hurrah [Motel]


America Hurrah, a masque for three dolls
"'America Hurrah' is a 'masque for three dolls.'  All the words of the play--a stream-of-consciousness monologue by a motel keeper--are recorded on tape, and then onstage action is performed by huge, grotesque doll-like figures with actors inside them.  The action is simple: a man and woman are brought to a motel room, they undress, they dance the twist, they write obscene words and draw obscene figures on the walls, finally they destroy the room and everything in it, including the motel keeper.  The words of the play are about 'things'--mostly the equipment of the motel, the items available through 'the catalogue,' and the shallow views and dull standards of the motel keeper." -- Village Voice Review [OBJ.1965.0231];When it was first performed-- at La MaMa, in April of 1965 -- this work was called "America Hurrah." But when Jean-Claude van Itallie combined this work with two others ("Interview" [formerly "Pavane"] and "TV") to make an evening-length show for the Pocket Theater (1966-1968), he changed the name of this piece to "Motel," and called the entire evening "America Hurrah."