Monday, October 20, 2008

Chekhov Lizardbrain

I saw Pig Iron's production of Chekhov Lizardbrain on Saturday. I enjoyed it, especially because of the neuro angle. To me, it shows once again what a rich theatrical field neurology is. Autism of course has become the cause of the day recently, especially in politics. For some reason McCain seems to feel that because Palin's son has Down Syndrome, that gives her a special window into autism. Of course, the two things are miles apart, and it takes more that a few months for even a parent of a child with autism to really understand it. But I digress...

One technique I particularly enjoyed in the production was the doubled scenes, first seen in their real form (the "film" version as they called it in the script) and then again from the lead character's perspective. James Sugg was impressive playing the lead, and seeing him transform from scene to scene as the character moved in and out of his own head was a definite joy of the production (the inner character was named Chekhov Lizardbrain).

The reviews of the play have been tremendous. The New York Times review focused on the Chekhovian loneliness that the autistic suffers from - reminding me that the Times review of Brains & Puppets focused on the loneliness of difference as well. For Chekhov Lizardbrain, I would agree that the emotional heart of the piece did lie in that loneliness. And perhaps also for Brains and Puppets, upon reflection.

Another interesting entry to the field of neurotheater.

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