Dead Letter Office

chekhov ex machina: clybourne park @ steppenwolf, 13 october 2011 & the heart is a lonely hunter @ steppenwolf, 29 october 2011.

Noticing a trend in two excellent recent plays. In place of Chekov’s gun—”one must not put a loaded rifle on the stage if no one is thinking of firing it”—we have the dead letter law—if a person dies early in the play, they must return supernaturally in the last scene to read the letters they left behind.

Robert Schleifer in The Heart is a Lonely Hunter. Photograph: Michael Brosilow.


Kirsten Fitzgerald and Brendan Marshall-Rashid in Clybourne Park. Photograph: Michael Brosilow.


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