Friday, July 13, 2007

Are you really here?

?A Body of Water? tests memories and questions reality

Express Staff Writer

?A Body of Water? poses memory challenges to Moss (Andrew Alburger) and Avis (Marilyn Teitge) as Wren (Anna Johnson) explains what they have done.

Imagine waking up and not knowing where or who you are. As esoteric as it sounds, this is the basis for Lee Blessing's "A Body of Water," a one-act play in five scenes.

"A Body of Water" will debut at 8 p.m. Saturday, July 14, at the Liberty Theater in Hailey for a "Pay What You Feel" preview as part of the Company of Fools' Summer Fools Festival rotating repertory theater.

Directed by Claudia McCain, and featuring Anna Johnson, Andrew Alburger and Marilyn Teitge, "A Body of Water" questions memory, how it constructs people, and poses the question: If without memory, how does one exist?

"Lee said life throws these things at us and inevitably changes things," McCain said. "Everyone will have their own opinions. What happens in the play will totally throw them, and it changes frequently."

Although "A Body of Water" is not a play about Alzheimer's disease, it dives into some of the disease's most debilitating issues such as existing with a lack of personal history, being void of time and living without reality, all of which can strip life of meaning.

The play's main characters, Moss and Avis, wake in an isolated mountain home with no recollection of their previous existence. The situation goes through periods of adjustment until the character Wren enters and informs the couple of a hideous act in which the two main characters were involved. However, the story is always changing, forcing members of the audience to rely upon their own memories of what has already happened on stage.

"You want to go in and know everything," McCain said. "You can't. You want to allow the story to unfold, but it's hard to know everything you need to. It is priceless."

McCain found the play while reading a copy of American Theater magazine last year while performing in "Sight on Scene" with Anna Johnson. McCain said she couldn't put it down.

"Actors have a tough time and are challenged by the play because they don't know where they are going, and they don't have anything to hold on to from their past," McCain said. "It's a very intriguing show. We are building in lots of layers, as much as we possibly can. We want to leave food for thought so people will talk about it afterward."

For a schedule of shows and times, call 788-6520 or visit

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