The Little Book of Professor Enigma
The plot assembles seven characters in an artists’ colony run by the addled Noma and tangles them into a Gordian knot of desire and distaste. Noma and the melancholy poet Jane lust after Carter, whose only lust is for alcohol. The senescent Dr. Sussman pines for the posturing Lowell, a gay violinist whose wife is a dead ringer for the suicidal Jane. Marin, a priggish South African novelist, believes that all passion is behind her. Things are further complicated by Carter’s suggestion that the colony’s members anonymously write down what they think are the others’ deepest fantasies in a blank volume (the “little book” of the title). The exercise invokes a muddled series of scenes that blur the real and the imagined, taking the characters into dark sexual reveries and on to the brink of a nihilistic void. (adapted from Ben Brantley’s New York Times review)
The play was first produced in New York at Theater for the New City December 15, 1994 to January 8, 1995. It was directed by Tom Gladwell, and the cast was:
Lowell: Andy Reynolds
Noma: Crystal Field
Carter: Stephen Sinclair
Marin: Bethany Smith
Jane: Laurie Wickens
Sussman: Donald Brooks
Allison: Laurie Wickens
The play has not been published.
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