Blue Surge reading

Click for larger image

We had a casual reading of Rebecca Gilman’s Blue Surge last Saturday – we read through the play with scripts in hand, and invited subscribers to join us to listen and discuss the play. That’s me on the right, going over lines that morning.
More pictures and a brief summary of the discussion below the fold.

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I wrote about my take on the script recently, and I was interested to find out during the discussion that I was completely wrong. In my mind, it’s a play about the way you’re defined by and confined in the social class you’re born into – that the fight to rise above your surroundings is an exhausting and ultimately futile one. Admittedly, it’s not a happy play when you look at it like that, but that’s the way it resonated in my head. Maybe it’s because I was reading the role of Curt, who ends the play resigned to his inability to Click for larger imageshake his background.

The general consensus, though, was that Curt’s failure isn’t the message of the play – it’s Sandy’s victory, and Doug and Heather’s comfortable acceptance of their places in the world. Sandy begins the play as a prostitute working in a small-town massage parlor who keeps her graduation tassle hanging on her rear-view mirror to remind herself of the one thing she did that her mother never did, and to keep her hopes and dreams in front of her. As the play ends, Sandy is living in a new condominium and running her own business (still prostitution), having found her way to rise above.

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2 Responses

  1. During the reading I played the part of Sandy. I think the reason for her success is her acceptance. Sandy had no illusions about who she is or what she does. She’s accepted herself and the events that have happened in her life. She doesn’t make any excuses for them, but she doesn’t feel bad about it either. The events that happened to her are what made her the person that she is.
    At one point Sandy says, “You ought to know why it is you do what you do. I do what I do to make money.” Sandy became a prostitute out of need, but she wasn’t ashamed of it and in the end she used what she knew to make herself a success.

  2. I think this makes a lot of sense, but I’m still having a hard time shaking the idea of seeing the play from Curt’s perspective. If Sandy’s success is due to her acceptance (which I agree with), then Curt’s failure is due to his desire for what he sees as a better life.

    I wrote earlier about Jackson Cage, which is probably another thing that makes it tough for me to see the positive side of the play.

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