A collage of America today, inspired by Norman Rockwell and contemporary installation artist Jason Rhoades, Charles Mee’s play juxtaposes the Fifties and the present, red states and blue, where we grew up and where we live now—a piece that is, like America, permanently under construction.
Radio Macbeth takes place late at night in the guts of an abandoned theater. Actors circle restlessly around the common shared warmth of a rehearsal table, moving through the bullet of Shakespeare’s briefest and perhaps most magnetic play. Around them, in the perimeter of the space, the ghosts of all previous productions hover and encroach. The spirits of ambition, violence, fortune, fate, free will, hubris, vengeance, pride, indecision, paradox, the eternal male-female conflict and madness flicker and glow. The actors cling to the sanity of words while the chaos of history grows to be undeniably present with them in the room.
The American artist Joseph Cornell made boxes filled with pocket watches, coiled springs, maps of the stars, a forest of thimbles, parrots, seashells, broken glass, children’s alphabet blocks, brightly colored balls, soap bubbles, whales’ teeth, a colored lithograph of the moon in the night sky, starfish. This piece, written by Charles L. Mee, is a sustained peek into the irrational, miniature, and magical world of Joseph Cornell.
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