Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Play a Day: Run Kingsbury Run

Tyler JC Whidden
For Tuesday I read Run Kingsbury Run by Tyler JC Whidden, and available at New Play Exchange.

First disclaimer: I know Tyler, he directed my play The Way I Danced With You at Ensemble Theatre, which you should see because his direction is fucking amazing and it is playing through this Sunday, April 7.

Second disclaimer: I know far too much about the history of the so-called "Mad Butcher of Kingsbury Run" and I am fucking tired of people trying to turn this hideous, sordid moment in Cleveland history into some kind of epic sequel to The Untouchables just because Eliot Ness is involved.

Okay. We got that out of the way.

Kingsbury is not about Ness, it's about the officers who do the work of trying to solve a grisly set of murders, and the psychological toll that can take. The unseen Eliot Ness is where he should be, off in the distance. An administrator, not a cop, and one whose own ambition rises above his need to protect the public.

But the main thrust of the narrative involves the pressure, the damage, and the wide-raging effect a public panic can have on the greater community. The "mad butcher" is the catalyst as three officers at a crime scene engage in intense psychological gamesmanship about reputation, responsibility, and the ghosts of our fathers.

Forensic science recently determined the most-likely suspect in the Whitechapel Murders of 1888, and the identity of "Jack the Ripper," and it only took one hundred and thirty years. Perhaps there is hope we may settle this saga once and for all.

Who should I read tomorrow?

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