Thursday, April 8, 2021

Play a Day: A Godawful Small Affair

Hayley St. James
For Thursday, I read A Godawful Small Affair by Hayley St. James and posted at New Play Exchange.

Any play that uses a lyric from “Life On Mars” as a title must be read.

David Bowie left the earth, and everything went to shit. I’m not the first person to say that, it was a meme during the year 2016. What most do not know is that Bowie died - then my father died - then Prince died, then everything went to shit. In that order, over the course of three months. That's how things so swiftly fell apart for me.

St. James script is a pandemic play, and between their pandemic play, and my pandemic play, and surely the countless more pandemic plays out there, pandemic plays are going to be a thing, and several of them will actually be very good, and important, and even timeless artifacts, documenting a world we never thought we would need to endure.

Or to someday soon endure again. Sorry. 

St. James’ story is one of loss and longing, and the walls both real and imagined that separate us from our loved ones. I have been fortunate enough to be quarantined with a family, and one a supportive one. We respect each other, we respect each other’s walls, but also (not to crack the wind of a poor phrase running it thus) leave our doors open.

What of the new lovers who have been trapped together? And those who have been quarantined alone? It’s a non-binary love triangle that celebrates the joy of coupling, but also the ennui of sameness. Google the phrase “time passes so strangely these days.” It is a refrain in this script, but also the subconscious mantra for our time.

Who should I read tomorrow?

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