Memory Play

Memory Play

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Author: Carla Harryman

Publisher: O Books (1994)

"What makes theater different from 'real conversation'? When something is designated a memory (i.e. testimony), is that something more 'real' or is it more 'theater'? These are some of the questions that the character Reptile poses at the beginning of the play. After a number of provocation conversations with the likes of Pelican, Fish, Instruction, and the Miltonic Humiliator, it becomes clear that the line which we assume divides the two levels of the sentence (the real and the theatrical, the truth and the lie) has dissolved: memory encompasses both simultaneously. Once a memory enters into language, it becoms theatricalized, a construction for the purposes of presentation, that both the listener and the speaker believe to be real. Memory Play provides a lively platform from which to examine the moral and political implications of such poetic processes."

–Jena Osman