It's a sunny day and Sara Jane is trying valiantly to keep it that way. Her young husband, Jerry, is away at war, and though Sara Jane believes in the cause, nothing has seemed quite right lately—especially the last few messages from Jerry. At least she has her piano—and Jerry’s bourbon—to keep her company as she tries to figure things out. But how far will she go to keep the impending storm at bay? ARLINGTON is a stirring, funny and powerful new work from playwright/novelist Victor Lodato and award-winning composer Polly Pen.
“It's hard to believe that this musical monologue…was written by a man, so accurately drawn is the inner life of Sara Jane, a young housewife whose husband is away at war."
“A tightly-packed little firecracker."
Alfred and Myrna Lang, an aging British couple, have lived quietly in apartment 3F for thirty-four years. When two loud young men move into the apartment directly above, the Langs’ lives are thrown out of balance. To protect their peace, they must face the enemy—and, in doing so, release themselves to a world of danger and desire, a world not so very different from their own buried past.
“This peculiar, jarring, altogether fascinating whatsit of a drama starts in an absurdist comedy mode that is finally complemented (rather than replaced) by a yowl of despair as heartrending as it is unexpected. Given a superb premiere production by director Pam MacKinnon, the dark yet deeply empathetic, economical yet complex script should mark Lodato as a major playwright in progress."
“Tantalizingly quick-witted ... the dialogue has an exhilarating snap and tempo that reminds one of Edward Albee."
THE BREAD OF WINTER
Ten-year-old Gregory, estranged from his mother, and caught in a brutal relationship with his older brother, has developed an intense attachment to the family’s housekeeper. Five individuals, each seeking solace and companionship, begin to collide with each other in an escalating game of desperation and violence, while a stunningly cold winter rages behind them. And what is that strange light in the sky? Salvation or apocalypse?
“The Bread of Winter threads a heart-tugging story line into an apocalyptic vision that's as artfully elliptical as haiku. This spooky play has an anguished lyricism about it. It's like Matthew Arnold's famous poem "Dover Beach" rewritten for the era of carbon-footprint paranoia.”
“Victor Lodato writes with great economy of expression, and with an unerring eye for compelling dramatic choices. His script is remarkable for two things beyond its high quality. First, the characters accept the incredible circumstances of the world of the play in a completely plausible manner. Secondly, although there are no sophisticated, articulate adults in the play, there is not a single false or condescending word. Lodato invites us to love his characters, who cannot love themselves.”
The night before he is to be evicted from his apartment, a troubled man reviews his options: homeless before, it appears he is once again destined for the street. As the man incessantly talks to himself, the audience is offered commentary by The Reader—a seemingly neutral bystander who appears to be controlling the man’s thoughts and actions. As the man slowly resists the text, the two characters begin to clash in a surreal battle of fate versus free will.
“The Eviction is a remarkable piece of theater ... a compassionate and compelling glimpse into the private lives of people often overlooked by our society.”
“Lyrical and funny, sad and disturbing.”
“A stunning piece of theatre.”
DEAR SARA JANE
Sweet Sara Jane, alone at home, waits for her soldier husband to return from battle. After a few too many bourbons, she begins to pose some dangerous questions, as she summons the courage to reveal a nasty secret. A one-woman play, with songs.
National Endowment for the Arts/Access to Artistic Excellence Grant (Magic Theatre)
“Victor Lodato came to playwriting as a poet. This sensibility informs all his work, not because it is ostensibly lyrical or poetic, but because his plays have the spare, dense life of poems forged over time. His reduced, crystalline, dialogue; the impacted emotional conditions of his characters' lives; his brave attention to the knotted violence of relationships—all speak of an artist with a penetrating eye and fearlessspirit ... He doesn't shy away from difficult subjects, nor does he fail to treat them with humanity, wit, and stunning theatricality.”
Clive arrives at the house of his mother and sister. He says he’s fleeing from the police—but perhaps it’s just another one of his delusions. Unbeknownst to him, he has shown up on a tragic anniversary: three years prior, his sister’s child was killed in a brutal shooting. As fate seems bent on shattering the walls, mother Mae valiantly attempts to keep house.
Winner of the Weissberger Award
“Victor Lodato’s work is complex, elegant, disturbing, beautifully written, and, above all, important. I can say without hesitation that he is the playwright who gives me hope for the future of serious theatre.”
After a disastrous exhibition, a famous conceptual artist and his neurotic wife escape from Manhattan and move upstate. But life among the trees proves challenging for these bred-in-the-bone New Yorkers. Nosy neighbors, pesky deer, and a terrible crime in the name of art demand to be reckoned with.
Commissioned by South Coast Repertory
SLAY THE DRAGON
Jimmy, a young mentally retarded man, living with his aging party-girl mother and his scatter-brained grandmother, makes a confused effort to claim his independence. As Halloween fast approaches, and family skeletons jump out of the closet, Jimmy needs to think quickly and decide who he’s going to be on October 31.
Commissioned by South Coast Repertory
THE WOMAN WHO AMUSES HERSELF
A play based on a curious historical incident. In 1911, an Italian housepainter residing in France steals the “Mona Lisa” from the Louvre—then lives with the painting for two and a half years in a Parisian garret. Through a series of monologues, the play imagines the thief’s life from his years in the garret to his later life in Italy. In addition to the protagonist, ten other characters arrive to comment on the action. The line-up ranges from a 15th-century Italian monk to modern art-trickster, Marcel Duchamp. Can be performed as a one-man play, or with multiple actors.
“Paints a beautiful picture of a man who loved the ‘Mona Lisa’—perhaps a bit too much... simply unforgettable.”
“... a charming, mournful, sharply-observed play.”