erik lundegaard

My Friend Craig

The new play of my friend Craig Wright, who has written for “Six Feet Under,” “Brothers & Sisters,” and is now the creator/producer/writer of “Dirty Sexy Money” on ABC, is reviewed today in The New York Times by Anita Gates. I'd call it a rave. Excerpts:

Mr. Wright’s earlier play “The Pavilion,” set at a high school class reunion, never touched the heart of nostalgia. The tremendously moving “Lady,” about three childhood friends on a hunting trip, says much more about the nature of change and distance and truth....

The director, Dexter Bullard, who directed Tracey Letts’s “Bug,” does thoughtful things with silence and stillness, and guides three finely detailed performances. Mr. Shannon delivers an almost unbearably touching death-bed-side speech, which primes us for the ensuing emotional battle.

“Lady” has considerable humor (commenting on medical marijuana, answering-machine messages and Hannah Montana, for instance), but it’s laughter to escape the pain and despair. In the end all the characters can do is bury their dead.

Even better: Go to the Times link above and check out the multi-media presentation halfway down on the left. It's Craig talking about his play and life in these United States in general: “I'm also interested in the American fascination with violence,” he says, “and also with the ease with which we accept the idea that so much time is spent ingesting media.”

He goes on to talk about some of the themes of this play and another, “Recent Tragic Events,” which concerns, he says, “What it was like to experience 9/11 as something on TV. And guess what? Here's the bad news. The voters of America have treated the response to 9/11 as if it was something they saw on TV. I believe if New Yorkers were the only people who were allowed to vote for what to do next as a country, we might have done things quite, quite differently, and I'd probably be a lot more in favor of what we did. But unfortunately the nation watched 9/11 happen on television, for the most part, and they voted, and they supported our response to it as if it were a movie on TV. And we're living the costs of that bad decision every day.”

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Posted at 01:50 PM on Wed. Sep 10, 2008 in category Culture  
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