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A staged reading of the play

"Alchemy of Desire / Dead Man's Blues"

August 16, 1993

Audrey Skirball-Kenis Theatre, Los Angeles, CA

Produced at the Odyssey Theatre Ensemble
by the the Audrey Skirball-Kenis Theatre

Playwright by Caridad Svich
Directed by Lisa Peterson

Jamie - Steven Culp
Caroline - Kimberly Scott
Tirasol - Patricia Mattick
Simone - Anne Heche
Selah - Grace Zabriskie
Miranda - Fay Hauser

A Play with Songs
Full Length in One Act
1M (20s), 2W (20s), 3W (40s-50s)
Fluid, Open Space

Alchemy of Desire/Dead Man's Blues explores the question of how we cope with incalculable loss. In this play, a young woman is haunted by the death of her husband in an unnamed war. She is lost in a swamp of grief and longing. The women of her community struggle to sweep her back into the land of the living with earth magic, songs and buckets of fried chicken.

A play with original songs set in a primeval landscape of swamp and burnt-out woods. The death of a young soldier (killed in a recent war) sends his widow, and a community of women left behind, on a journey where the soldier's ghost, fried chicken, and other mysteries of spirit and nature come together in a search for pure grace. "It is a rich and provocative piece of theater that deserves to be seen elsewhere." (c) Variety

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