Twilight of Humanity
By James Bruce Smith
Moderator: Mia McCullough, Chicago Dramatists' Director of Public Programs
This play presents 2 perspectives on a single catastrophe, namely the failure of a large portion of the U.S. electrical grid caused by an accidental war with North Korea. There are 2 sets of actors alternating on different sides of the stage. One side of the stage presents the bureaucratic perspective of four people slowly realizing the immense tragedy they see unfolding, based on various reports they are getting. At first they are concerned with public relations and blame but are eventually overwhelmed by the decisions of who to expend limited resources on and who to let perish. The other side deals with how two couples (plus two relatives) cope with the tragedy in real time and how they lose their grip on reality and humanity as friends die, feral children attack them, and their familiar world disintegrates into chaos. Violence becomes immediate instead of being reported. In the end, they debate their fate and what to do with the bodies.
About the First Draft Series
The First Draft Series is an exclusive series of Tuesday-night play readings for and by First Draft Member playwrights. These are private, salon-style readings in which playwrights perform the roles and then discuss the plays in a format similar to that used in the Saturday Series. The discussions are moderated by a Resident Playwright or member of the artistic staff.
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