“An agreeable Pirandellian doodle” — Nelson Pressley, Washington Post
David, a train conductor and sometime playwright, is trapped in a loveless marriage to Christine. He’d love nothing more than to seduce his wife’s best friend Lily, a mathematician, but her obnoxious husband Max humiliates him into inaction. It’s hopeless… or is it? David—who is, after all, a writer—decides to revise the script of the very play in which he is appearing. With the help of a cantankerous (and strangely omniscient) Stagehand, he goes after his girl, abruptly changing the story, confusing his fellow characters, and bringing an angry Playwright storming on stage to retaliate and win her back.
Every change they make, however, quickly leads to another: characters lose their names, their purposes, and their lines; old scenes are replayed in new ways, new actions embodied, new dialogue written on the fly. The engine of the narrative keeps heading down the tracks at top speed… but without a conductor. X—the character David has become—knows he has thrown the play completely out of whack. He also knows that the dreaded “bridge scene”—the scene in which X dies—is rapidly approaching. What he doesn’t know is how to “balance the equation” of the story. Does he carry the remainders? What formula should be use? Can Lily, the girl of his dreams and a whiz with a calculator, teach him the way? And what will he finally have to give up to avert a disaster?
Productions: Taffety Punk Theatre Company (DC, 2006); Nothing Special Productions (Chicago, 2011). Readings: The Intentional Theatre Group (NY, 2008); Artomatic Festival (DC, 2005). Developed in part with the support of a grant from Cultural DC.
Below is a small gallery of images taken from the Taffety Punk Theatre Company’s 2006 production of Let X. Those images are embedded below. A complete gallery of images from that production is available on Flickr as well.