DANCES OF LIFE - AND DEATH
Dances of Life – and Death is adapted from Edgar Allan Poe’s Masque of the Red Death. Poe wrote the Masque as a sort of horror story and it is written entirely in the third person as told by a narrator, no background and no dialogue. The play frames the story as a morality play, set in the time of the Plagues and the Renaissance. Though set in the past it is, also, about the present. Camus, in his great novel La Peste, wrote about a fictional plague in Oran in the 1940’s. He used “plague” as a metaphor for War, and life in occupied France during WW II. Similarly, the plague here is a metaphor for life in Syria, Iraq, Columbia, Guatemala, Nigeria and Somalia, etc. leading desperate refugees to flee from violence and war. But the reaction of those in safer countries is to withdraw, close their borders and shut their eyes, to keep out the “plague” of feared death and disorder. But such human afflictions can never be enduringly locked out.
This play is an allegory and a morality tale, not a fairy tale, nor is it somehow a commedia dell’arte rendering of stock characters derisively satirized.
“Best Original Play”
NY Theater Festival 2015
“While your work did not advance to the next round, we wanted to let you know that our readers expressed great admiration for Dances of Life – and Death. Thank you for sharing such quality work with us.”
Eugene O’Neill Theater Center 2016