Eric Overmyer Dark Rapture

ISBN 13: 9780881451108

Dark Rapture

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9780881451108: Dark Rapture
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A richly atmospheric, riveting noir peopled with lowdown characters who raise double and triple-crossing to high art. "Eric Overmyer [is] one of this nation's most accomplished and vividly imaginative playwrights." -Wayne Johnson, The Seattle Times "In NATIVE SPEECH, ON THE VERGE and IN PERPETUITY THROUGHOUT THE UNIVERSE, Eric Overmyer manifested a extraordinary command over the tools of language: sound, syntax and image ... In DARK RAPTURE, which premiered at Seattle's Empty Space Theater in May, Overmyer's verbal dexterity is acute as ever, but this time it's harnessed to a plot delivered by characters who seem driven by purposes of their own. It's by far Overmyer's most satisfying play. DARK RAPTURE may not, however, earn its author the critical praise it deserves - it certainly didn't in Seattle - because it adheres so strictly to the rules of the genre. In the written arts, in film, in dance, in pop music, a creative artist's submission to such rules earns no disrespect. In theater, it seems we honor work created within rigid conventions only if the conventions are someone else's: kabuki or kathakali, wayang or noh. DARK RAPTURE is 'noir,' the genre which crystallized in the 1940s novels and screenplays of Raymond Chandler and has intermittently borne fruit ever since in the hands of artists as various as Richard Condon and Wim Wenders. Good noir is rare on stage ... But his DARK RAPTURE is the most successful stage essay in the form since Len Jenkins's marvelous, poetic FIVE OF US. Like many noir fictions, DARK RAPTURE is about escape: from the self, from the sane, from the ordinary. This time the escape hatch is offered by a fire that leaves the Berkeley Hills home of Ray and Julia Gaines a pile of smoldering rubble with a charred and unrecognizable corpse beneath it. Whose corpse is it: Ray's, or a looter's? Just where was Julia when the house burned down? And what happened to the brown-paper parcel Julia says she left in Ray's custody? Did it go up in flames, too, with or without him? Any number of sinister people want to know. In classic noir manner, the story advances tableau by moody tableau from Baja bedroom to Key West bar deck to Tampa kitchenette, each offering its sharply etched character cameo, its fragment of information, its new complication, straight to a conclusion redolent with irony ..." -Roger Downey, American Theater

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Eric Overmyer [is] one of this nation's most accomplished and vividly imaginative playwrights. --Wayne Johnson, The Seattle Times

In NATIVE SPEECH, ON THE VERGE and IN PERPETUITY THROUGHOUT THE UNIVERSE, Eric Overmyer manifested a extraordinary command over the tools of language: sound, syntax and image.... In DARK RAPTURE, which premiered at Seattle's Empty Space Theater in May, Overmyer's verbal dexterity is acute as ever, but this time it's harnessed to a plot delivered by characters who seem driven by purposes of their own. It's by far Overmyer's most satisfying play. DARK RAPTURE may not, however, earn its author the critical praise it deserves it certainly didn't in Seattle because it adheres so strictly to the rules of the genre. In the written arts, in film, in dance, in pop music, a creative artist's submission to such rules earns no disrespect. In theater, it seems we honor work created within rigid conventions only if the conventions are someone else's: kabuki or kathakali, wayang or noh. DARK RAPTURE is `noir,' the genre which crystallized in the 1940s novels and screenplays of Raymond Chandler and has intermittently borne fruit ever since in the hands of artists as various as Richard Condon and Wim Wenders. Good noir is rare on stage.... But his DARK RAPTURE is the most successful stage essay in the form since Len Jenkins's marvelous, poetic FIVE OF US. Like many noir fictions, DARK RAPTURE is about escape: from the self, from the sane, from the ordinary. This time the escape hatch is offered by a fire that leaves the Berkeley Hills home of Ray and Julia Gaines a pile of smoldering rubble with a charred and unrecognizable corpse beneath it. Whose corpse is it: Ray's, or a looter's? Just where was Julia when the house burned down? And what happened to the brown-paper parcel Julia says she left in Ray's custody? Did it go up in flames, too, with or without him? Any number of sinister people want to know. In classic noir manner, the story advances tableau by moody tableau from Baja bedroom to Key West bar deck to Tampa kitchenette, each offering its sharply etched character cameo, its fragment of information, its new complication, straight to a conclusion redolent with irony.... --Roger Downey, American Theater

In NATIVE SPEECH, ON THE VERGE and IN PERPETUITY THROUGHOUT THE UNIVERSE, Eric Overmyer manifested a extraordinary command over the tools of language: sound, syntax and image.... In DARK RAPTURE, which premiered at Seattle's Empty Space Theater in May, Overmyer's verbal dexterity is acute as ever, but this time it's harnessed to a plot delivered by characters who seem driven by purposes of their own. It's by far Overmyer's most satisfying play. DARK RAPTURE may not, however, earn its author the critical praise it deserves it certainly didn't in Seattle because it adheres so strictly to the rules of the genre. In the written arts, in film, in dance, in pop music, a creative artist's submission to such rules earns no disrespect. In theater, it seems we honor work created within rigid conventions only if the conventions are someone else's: kabuki or kathakali, wayang or noh. DARK RAPTURE is `noir,' the genre which crystallized in the 1940s novels and screenplays of Raymond Chandler and has intermittently borne fruit ever since in the hands of artists as various as Richard Condon and Wim Wenders. Good noir is rare on stage.... But his DARK RAPTURE is the most successful stage essay in the form since Len Jenkins's marvelous, poetic FIVE OF US. Like many noir fictions, DARK RAPTURE is about escape: from the self, from the sane, from the ordinary. This time the escape hatch is offered by a fire that leaves the Berkeley Hills home of Ray and Julia Gaines a pile of smoldering rubble with a charred and unrecognizable corpse beneath it. Whose corpse is it: Ray's, or a looter's? Just where was Julia when the house burned down? And what happened to the brown-paper parcel Julia says she left in Ray's custody? Did it go up in flames, too, with or without him? Any number of sinister people want to know. In classic noir manner, the story advances tableau by moody tableau from Baja bedroom to Key West bar deck to Tampa kitchenette, each offering its sharply etched character cameo, its fragment of information, its new complication, straight to a conclusion redolent with irony.... --Roger Downey, American Theater

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