VISITING EDNA

GOOD FOR OTTO

Rabe, David

Grove-Atlantic

2017

208 Pages

Format: Others

ISBN: 9780802126900

Language: English

Category: Foreign theater

Good for Otto, which premiered in October 2015 at the Gift Theatre in Chicago, directed by Michael Patrick Thornton, is an unflinching portrayal of the world of mental illness and therapy. Drawing on material from Undoing Depression by Connecticut psychotherapist Richard O’Connor, it is a deeply moving look into the life of a number of patients trying to navigate personal trauma, including a profoundly troubled young girl, and one therapist, Dr. Michaels, who makes great efforts to help them, but is haunted by his own demons, and stymied by the financial obstacles of the American healthcare system. Visiting Edna, which premiered in September 2016 at the Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago, directed by Anna D. Shapiro, is a stylistically dazzling exploration of the bond between mother and son. As Edna, a woman in the last years of her life, faces a short future plagued by her many illnesses, from diabetes to arthritis to cancer, she maintains the emotional distance she has kept from her son Andrew since he became an adult, and they both struggle to communicate about their shared past as they contemplate the future. Taken together, the plays form a startling and thought-provoking vision of American society and cement Rabe’s place in the upper echelons of the canon of contemporary theater.

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