Authors: Kevin Killian and Leslie Scalapino
Publisher: Singing Horse Press (1996)
A collaborative play in ten scenes, populated by a number of anonymous people and a few not so anonymous people such as Orpheus, Eurydice, Julia Roberts, and Giorgio Agamben.
Stone Marmalade retells the legend of Orpheus and Eurydice, as seen through the theoretical writings of Giorgio Agamben. Scalapino and Killian attended Agamben's lectures at UC Berkeley 15 years ago, and misunderstood the philosopher's thick Italian accent so thoroughly that they got quite a lot wrong in their script.
When the Nazis inducted prisoners into the death camps, they first took away their passports and stripped them of their former nationality. Agamben said that doing so reduced the prisoners to "mere birth-life," but we thought he was saying "bird-life," and so a lot of our play is bird oriented. It takes place in Hell, where Eurydice, the Queen of Hell, operates a duty-free shop (another Agamben notion about the extra-juridical status shared by duty-free shops and by the death camps) assisted by an easy-going PA, Kathy.
The women find themselves in a double triangle, both of them variously attracted to Orpheus and to the visiting Giorgio Agamben. But the play doesn't really begin until Kathy gets pregnant and will give birth to a bird unless Eurydice allows her to have a human baby, and also, the gates of hell part and Julia Roberts has come to make a film there, or to die there, no one is sure which.
"This play is our concerted attempt to demolish society."