|First presented by the Shakespeare Society of America at the Globe Theatre, in Los Angeles, this warm-hearted and inventive play tells the story of a young girl who sets out to become an actress in 16th-century England--when women were forbidden by law to|
THE STORY: The nameless narrator of this blistering monologue lies ill and alone in a dreary hotel room in a poverty-stricken country. A political execution is about to take place beneath his window. Far from the glib comforts of his own life, he struggles with memories and his own conscience, which are challenged by the misery and poverty he sees. With compassion, eloquence, and ruthless self-scrutiny, the playwright discovers that having good intentions toward the dispossessed is not enough. As the narrator reminisces and agonizes over his own responsibility for the downtrodden, he reaches the inevitable conclusion that the politically correct are guilty themselves unless they take action. At the play's conclusion, the narrator has succeeded in defining his own guilt but is uncertain whether or not he has the personal courage to join in the struggle. Aghast at his own weakness, he longs for forgiveness and the strength to earn it.
Wallace Shawn's The Fever is the winner of the 1991 Obie Award for Best Play and soon to be a film starring Vanessa Redgrave. While visiting a poverty-stricken country far from home, the unnamed narrator of The Fever is forced to witness the political persecution occurring just beyond a hotel window. In examining a life of comfort and relative privilege, the narrator reveals, "I always say to my friends, We should be glad to be alive. We should celebrate life. We should understand that life is wonderful." But how does one celebrate life - take pleasure in beauty, for instance - while slowly becoming aware that the poverty and oppression of other human beings are a direct consequence of one's own pleasurable life? In a coruscating monologue, The Fever is most of all an eloquent meditation on living a life with conscience and action in ethical relationship to others in the world.
|Publisher||Dramatists Play Service, Incorporated|