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Work: You May Go Home Again: A Domestic Noh

Identifier: WORK.1963.0016
Description: "First produced at the Cino in 1963 and then reworked under the author's direction in 1965, this is a 'total theater' event, combining dancelike movement sequences, physical comedy, and tableaux vivants, and a detailed musical score that provides line-by-line rhythmic commentary on the spoken dialogue....This play...depends for impact on its staging in a constricted space, into which a family of four --mother, father, sister, brother -- are permanently crowded. Even during private moments of individual reflection, these characters perform their lines and movements in immediate proximity to one another, as if to emphasize the smothering closeness of the family bond. Compression is in fact the key structural principle here: ...Starkweather squeezes [time] like a concertina, using a quasi filmic 'editing' approach to cut rapidly from scene to scene, moment to moment. Yet this fluidity functions not to open out the dramatic space, as film would, but to reinforce the sense of confinement. The family is introduced, for example, using a 'dining room scene' in which the actors bend their knees and perform a stylized mime to perform sitting and eating. In a manner of seconds, the play cuts from breakfast ('Good morning, dear'; 'Good morning, Mom') to lunch ('A nice lunch, Mom') to supper ('Oh, look at the sun'; 'Time for bed for you'), the shifts punctuated only by lethargic movements suggesting the passage of the day..."
--Stephen Bottoms, Playing Underground: A Critical History of the 1960s Off-Off-Broadway Movement (Michigan, 2006), pp. 134-135
Related La MaMa Venue
122 Second Avenue
Related Off-Site
Caffe Cino