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Play Reading Club
September 22 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
The Brass Tacks Ensemble’s Play Reading Club
The Nature and Purpose of the Universe by Christopher Durang
Tuesday, September 22, 6:30pm, Zoom
Registration required for the Zoom Link:
Video can be by laptop/computer, but Audio will be by phone call-in only. This helps keep the delays between lines to a minimum.
No script necessary. A scanned script will be shared once the Zoom meeting starts.
There are 11 characters to be read, but we will double-up and/or trade characters as necessary.
Summary: Two “agents of God” explain the nature and purpose of the universe to the audience, using the Mann family of suburban New Jersey for illustration. At the center of the story is Eleanor, a sweet, sad housewife horribly treated by her husband Steve and most every other character in the play, most of whom are actually the “agents of God” in disguise. Eleanor’s oldest son Donald is a drug addict, a dealer, and a pimp, middle son Gary an angry homosexual, and youngest son Andy has lost his penis in a reaper accident.
When it seems to Eleanor that there isn’t any hope for escape from her miserable existence, a door-to-door brush salesman professes his love for her and promises he’ll return to carry her away forever, however, the salesman is actually one of the agents of God once again testing Eleanor’s threshold for misery. After numerous trials and tribulations (including a sadistic rape) the revelation that the brush salesman was lying, and a Papal assassination, the family finds itself exiled in Iceland, where it appears Eleanor’s nightmare will only continue.
**The play contains themes that include rape and abuse.
We will hold a discussion afterwards to discuss the show, its place in history and the current social climate, as well as the BTE themes of Universality, Clarity, and Theatricality.