PARADISE “convincingly, and sometimes chillingly, portrays a young man in the midst of a spiritual crisis” (New York Times). After the death of his sister, Robbie spirals downward into guilt and grief, seeking help from his friends Betty and Stu, a new lover Carlos, and even from a dissolute priest. Amid the chatter of clever New Yorkers, three couples spin towards tragedy and, perhaps, redemption.
Dan Bacalzo, Theatermania
Jason Zinoman, The New York Times
Martin Denton, NYTheatre.com
Maya Avrasin, Show Business Weekly
Andy Probst, Backstage
The photos on this page are from the beautiful and brave Blue Coyote Theater Group production. I say brave because when I finished the play (during a residency at VCCA) I was sure no one was ever going to want to read it, much less produce it. The ending was controversial (spoiler: it’s dark), and we discussed it a lot during rehearsals. When the production was over, I thought of these lines from Gerard Manley Hopkins:
“Oh, the mind, mind has mountains; cliffs of fall/Frightful, sheer, no-man-fathomed. Hold them cheap/May who ne’er hung there.”
And I added a note to the end of the script which read in part: “[The ending] only means that the cliffs are steep and the footing treacherous. To put it another way, the cliffs of fall would hold no terrors if it were not possible to fall from them, and one of the things a play can do is make us feel the terror of being human.”
Left: Brandon Wolcott and Tom Ligon. Above: Tracey Gilbert, Robert Buckwalter, Brandon Wolcott, Jonna McElrath, Bruce Barton, and Joseph Melendez. From the Blue Coyote Theater Group production.