An episode of the Simpsons is being retold through a group recollection around a fire in post apocalyptic America. They debate the lines and the finer details of the episode in the dimly lit scene. In the second Act, the group has formed a theatre troupe recreating scenes from popular culture before the disaster such as music and Simpsons episodes, using lines contributed from memories of survivors. The final Act is set seventy five years later, a play is played featuring the Simpsons as a mythological morality tale in an operatic, post modernistic production.
Written by Anne Washburn, as a piece of theatre which examines the creative process, the power or folly of human recollection and how history can be distorted, it is incisive and thought provoking. But that is the extent of its strength. It lacks any character development and personal relationship for the audience. It means the characters are completely forgettable and the anonymous actors does not have anything to latch on to. At the same time, the scenes are far too long without saying very much which diminishes the main message and thesis. It will be much more effective if trimmed down to a much shorter piece without losing its meaning. As it is, it is a long drag out bore.
Photo by Manuel Harlan