DANCING IN THE DARK

Genre: Drama
By Robert Kornfeld

A husband's search for his birth parents tests his marriage in "Dancing in the Dark" by Robert Kornfeld, directed by Tom Thornton. The protagonist is a tormented New Orleans intellectual--a professor of linguistics, whose quest is not that different from many Americans.

It is estimated that 2% of the U.S. Population are adoptees, so between their with biological parents, adoptive parents, and siblings, about 1 in 8 Americans are directly touched by adoption. Most adoptees and birth parents have, at some point, actively searched for biological parents or children they have been separated from. Their most common reason is genetic curiosity: a desire to find what a birth parent or child looks like, their talents or personality.

Jason's wife, Illyria, is an attorney whose biological clock is ticking strongly. The couple are dealing seriously with the issue of finally ending their honeymoon and having children. But Jason is fearful of "unseen" genetic problems. He carries on a relentless search for his birth mother behind his wife's somewhat disapproving back. His stated obsession with genetics may be his bottom-line motive, or it may be a smoke screen for deeper, more Freudian concerns. That enigma is the nexus of a play that peers into the character and needs of the modern American couple.

Jason's dilemma is explored through a series of alternately comic and serious scenes and dreams, some of which are inter spliced with chapters from his wife's dreams. In one, a bee's dance to find its mate is a metaphor foreshadowing Jason's finding his genetic parents. Jason pulls every trick in the book to seek out his birth mother, including a deception to manipulate the secretary of the agency that to placed him with his adoptive parents.

When Jason ultimately meets his mother in an elders' home, she is moody and incoherent, reinforcing his fears of mental illness in his genes. She dances for him as the bee would, illustrating that his knot of feelings will not easily be untied. When she is revealed to be a normally colorful New Orleans eccentric and not insane, Jason feels comfortable in finally starting a family with Illyria.
About the Company: Theater For The New City

THEATER FOR THE NEW CITY (TNC) is a Pulitzer Prize winning community cultural center that is known for its high artistic standards and widespread community service. One of New York’s most prolific theatrical organizations, TNC produces 30-40 premieres of new American plays per year, at least 10 of which are by emerging and young playwrights. Many influential theater artists of the last quarter century have found TNC’s Resident Theater Program instrumental to their careers, among them Sam Shepard, Moises Kaufman, Richard Foreman, Charles Busch, Maria Irene Fornes, Miguel Piñero and Academy Award Winners Tim Robbins and Adrien Brody. TNC also presents plays by multi-ethnic/multi-disciplinary theater companies who have no permanent home. Among the well-known companies that have been presented by TNC are Mabou Mines, the Living Theater, Bread and Puppet Theater, the San Francisco Mime Troupe and the Ma-Yi Theater Company, which won an OBIE Award for its 1996 TNC production, FLIPZOIDS. TNC also produced the Yangtze Repertory Company’s 1997 production of BETWEEN LIFE AND DEATH, which was the only play ever produced in America by Gao Xingjian before he won the 2000 Nobel Prize for Literature. TNC seeks to develop theater audiences and inspire future theater artists from the often-overlooked low-income minority communities of New York City by producing minority writers from around the world and by bringing the community into theater and theater into the community through its many free Festivals. TNC productions have won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and over 40 OBIE Awards for excellence in every theatrical discipline. TNC is also the only Theatrical Organization to have won the Mayor's Stop The Violence award.

Open:   11/13/08
Close:   11/30/08

Schedule:
Thursdays through Saturdays at 8:00, Sundays at 3:00 (No performances 11/27 and 11/28)
Theater:   Theater For The New City
Address:   155 First Avenue
New York, NY 10009
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Take the L train to 1st Avenue or the 6 train to Astor Place

Cost:$10
Buy Tickets Online or Call: at 212-254-1109
Company: Theater For The New City         Official Web Site: www.theaterforthenewcity.net