If you’ve ever had an apartment whose walls are so thin that they could be made of tissues, you’ll understand the significance that walls and strangers can have on your life. In a new play coming to Salt Lake Acting Company this summer, a young playwright will explore what stories apartment walls can hold, even when those stories occur decades apart.
This summer, Rae Binstock’s grant-winning play, A Land of No Mercy, was selected from a pool of 30 script submissions to be hosted at Salt Lake Acting Company (SLAC) for a week-long developmental workshop. The grant is a collaboration between SLAC and The David Ross Fetzer Foundation for Emerging Artists, a panel of theater professionals and friends of Fetzer who chose the script. The Foundation honors the life of Fetzer by mentoring theatric artists and writers who are 35 years and younger, helping their work to flourish and take root in the oftentimes inhospitable climate of theater.
A Land of No Mercy follows the lives of two couples living in the same Lower East Side Manhattan’s apartment 100 years apart, or, as Binstock puts it, “a century apart but close enough to touch.” The story weaves together the romantic strings and career ambitions of 1916 Jewish immigrants with similar strains in the lives of a young couple in 2016. The couples share the same space in a play that Tony Kushner, famed American playright, calls “the melting pot where nothing melted”. In Salt Lake City, Binstock’s script will be developed by a team team of local artists including a director, dramaturg, stage manager, actors and (possibly) multi-media artists.
The workshop will culminate in a public staged reading at SLAC on Monday, July 31, 2017 at 7pm.
–by Amy Whiting