note: entire contents copyright 2009 by Larry Stark
Scenic Design by Patrick Lynch
Costume Design by Eric Propp
Lighting Design by John Malinowski
Sound Design by David Wilson
Properties Design by Basia Goszczynska
Stage Manager Amy Weissenstein
The Playwright......Ross MacDonald
Athol Fugard's plays are always deceptively economical, leaving room for actors to find and illuminate unstated details. The surface of "Exits and Entrances" is a series of memories a younger playwright/actor has of a great but forgotten actor. The man talks while applying makeup and is seen performing bits from "Oedipus" and a play called "The Prisoner" and he quotes to-be-or-not-to-be from "Hamlet" --- and since that man is played by Will Lyman everything he says, or doesn't say, carries meaning. Things like "Home? A writer's home is words; an actor's home is the stage" "The audience has to give you permission to dream" "I am most myself when trying to be someone else" "In my youth I dreamed that an Afrikaans theater could transform us" With these as context, it is subtly significant when Ross MacDonald playing his friend notes that the old actor died on the very day South Africa became an independent country. "Exits and Entrances" remember, is the title of Fugard's play.
MacDonald is part acolyte, part historian, occasional gadfly. He remarks bitterly that Aparthide-courts convicted an otherwise innocent Black man of I-D-paper irregularities every five minutes --- an indictment of the older man's hopes of transforming society through art. He takes his friend's self-criticisms, as an artist and as a person, with a grain of admiring salt. But he clings to a dream that writing plays truthfully reflecting life will eventually be more important than the drawing-room comedies that might make him rich.
In that sense, this is a beautifully poetic conversation of youth with age, and anyone listening to these two actors will hear much more than either of them says out loud.