Friday, April 7, 2017

Play a Day: Use All Available Doors

Brittany Alyse Willis
One week, seven plays.

This morning I read Use All Available Doors by Brittany Alyse Willis and available on New Play Exchange.

The story takes place on a train, part of DC Metro. It is a conceit I envy, one setting that can accommodate countless stories and characters. I have dreams of taking advantage of our own public transit system, such as it is, but on a snowy April morning am resigned to two-person dialogue, me and the boy.

DAD: My new play opens tomorrow. I am nervous.
SON: As you should be.

Seriously, that's how my eleven year-old talks. Exactly like I do.

My wife remarked this morning that I seemed unhappy. She assumes I did not enjoy the play I just read. "No," I said, "that's not it. I liked the script, I like it a lot. There are unhappy conversations, and I am dwelling on those."

Hell is other passengers.

There are also moments of magic and grace and absurdity. Any time strangers begin dancing I am happy.

Real life intrudes. It is hard to concentrate when your President just pulled his first large scale airstrike with no clear explanation or strategy. This country is a fucking nightmare.

"Dad says stories were greater than facts."

Willis's play plumbs those points of transition, because its not where people believe they are, we believe we are where we were or where we are going, in transit is not a real place. It's like what my wife calls Airportland, the theory that all airports are really one airport, you don't actually exist in reality when you are inside Airportland. anything can happen, though usually nothing ever happens.

Stasis. The waiting.

Has anyone ever fallen in love on the subway?

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