ANDY AND THE SHADOWS Reading Tonight at 7:30!

Last Monday night’s hurricane forced the postponement of the reading of ANDY AND THE SHADOWS by a week. That postponement has bought the playwright (me) a lot more time to work through the many fascinating questions, insights and ideas that emerged from our workshop sessions October 24-25, followed by intensive weekend sessions with designers and director Daniella Topol. The result tonight will be a significantly revised second act, from its beginning, its middle, and its end. It’s all the same sojourn, but there’s tons of new writing. I call that exciting. I call this a fascinating fusion. How extraordinary that this material should follow so closely upon the artistic and thematic reverberations of OUR CLASS. Questions of legacy, history, inheritance, and ghostly visitations and the battling with them all figure heavily in ANDY AND THE SHADOWS. Students from UM/UC/ND will be coming tonight as well. We’ll hear overlapping themes of “Staging War: Impact & Aftermath” abutting with considerations of “The Ethics and Exigencies of the Artist” — themes we’ll discuss much more in comments and as ANDY draws near. For now, this place holder of a posting.

Here’s the link to today’s reading. Important to RSVP as we’re in the library with very limited seating capacity.
Gleanings from the process, as shared on my facebook page, are pasted below.

First Day of ANDY AND THE SHADOWS workshop
by Ari Roth on Wednesday, October 24, 2012 at 9:37am ·
Wednesday, October 24, 2012

First day of workshop rehearsal. Didn’t mean to wake up at 4 am. Went to bed early with a mojito still buzzing the brain and a great dinner with Katie and Izzy at Pulpo still filling the stomach. It was a night of going to bed without opening the computer. How rare. So now it’s 4 and I’m back. How uncomforting…

I’m starting over on diary notes for the process of workshopping ANDY AND THE SHADOWS this week. As noted to Daniela this summer, there was much pain in realizing I’d lost/copied-over 50+ pages of notes from the spring and summer records of experiment writing, plans and schemes for addressing issues that needed to be tackled. It reflected some deep wrestling with why I was breathing life into this work. And then the diary disappeared. Saved over by something much more banal. So now I have a document that was once rich and full called ANDY NOTES (April/May/June) but it’s empty save for a silly paragraph of business, and that’s stymied my impetus to keep renewing the diary as we enter this new phase of the process; a 3 day workshop with three days of rewriting time over the weekend before the Monday night presentation.

Mostly, I want to be mentally and physically present for this workshop, and not have the very busy business of running the theater, and worrying about the theater, and looking at the box office tally, and figuring out where the rest of the money will come from, and getting the letters out, and getting the scripts read, and the emails read and responded to , and getting the blogs posted, and the student entries addressed, their work graded, all this additional stuff that’s crowded out the playwrights life… And it has in so many ways, with the crush of stuff, and all the more, it’s staggering to think about what it takes to return to the laptop as a playwright. I have so many compadres; how I admire their discipline; their productivity; their continuing to write day in and day out; week in and week out…

I used to be one of that gang. With ANDY AND THE SHADOWS, I returned this past year to being one of those in the gang. Of course, there was all of that mad rewriting of THE BORN GUILTY CYCLE pre-Berlin, and during Berlin last April-May as well. But that’s been me wrestling with already-written material — and in so many ways, ANDY is too…. There were the two major months of experimenting with lots of brand new writing to open the show with the family grown older; the family now, before going back 25 or so years to an earlier rite of passage. That writing added many new layers to the play, even as it got compressed and funneled back into much of the pre-existing structure of the dream sequence introduction.

I am interested to hear today how the play lives in a practical world. Are certain scenes still too-amorphous-seeming, as they felt in The Lark Theatre cold reading back in April? Or do the memory scenes work and take up space as real events, graced by magic? Do the scenes have emotional weight? Do we buy in to a dramatic premise that commands attention?

I get tired and woozy as I write this, still susceptible to distraction; to the competing needs of checking box office and email… at 4:30 in the morning? I’ve become hardwired with electronic A.D.D. Will I live well in the moment without such today? Of course, and it will be a pleasure. To let email languish…

This is a family chronicle. It moves me to touch on these simulacrums of family; of myself and my bride, formerly fiancé, now wife; these sisters and parents who both are and totally aren’t the people I grew up with… I am leaving behind an intimate imagining; an artistic portrait from when we were young, inflected by the perspective that we’re all so much older, more vulnerable, and here for that much less of a time.

I go back to rest.

I wake up to start the day. I re-read, revise, post, and run.
I’m running late.

The day has begun.

* * *

Preparing for Second Day of ANDY AND THE SHADOWS Workshop
by Ari Roth on Thursday, October 25, 2012 at 7:25am ·
Thursday October 25, early morning – reflecting on yesterday’s first day…

An “A “day with the company, Daniella and team. A “B” day for me for the actual script; still not where I need it to be in terms of new material and insights fitting comfortably into the flow and rhythm. Surprisingly, even after much finessing, the play repels many additions, yet (also surprisingly) accepts others; the acceptances then render some older themes and tropes less relevant. Choice example: Andy’s search for his “duendé” — his quest for tragic-ecstatic dimensionality — such a prominent feature of his pursuit for years — is now overtaken by the newer, developing theme of “leave-taking anxiety” — the rite of passage of leaving home, or losing home, or losing people from his home (even as he brings old family furniture with him to his New York apartment — a discovery just made yesterday in our post-read discussion!) Can and do these twin aspects of defining Andy work in tandem? Whereas once there was only the one (his search for duendé) — but the duendé’s a false search. He’s not going to BECOME gallant and tragic by fighting a bull; he’s going to gain stature and find his footing as a man by finally grappling with each of his parents’ primary pain; by understanding his mother’s guilt and rage and her primary trauma — and understanding the true roots of his father’s depression, something that he shares with Dad; a loneliness… This is the insight that gives him grounding. So for me there is more to scratch at and uncover in what Andy gets, and touches, in scene with his father…

The key rewriting challenges for these next 4-5 days is a 9 point plan. In the first act, fixes include…

1) cleaning up excessive writing; the experiments that didn’t stick; restore the rhythm that’s there and flows. That should be easy enough.

2) once again, cleaning up the writing for Andy and Sarah; she explains too much, the result of so much attention we’ve given that relationship over the past months of revision; perhaps there’s still a question of what she gets from him — we’re fixing that by showing how Andy “wins” some scenes with her — his imagination persuades her and wins the argument. That should help show us what she gets from Andy; a creative passion to balance her, well, balance; her reason; her acceptance and desire to be included in a story bigger than her own.

3) Looking at how Andy can better drive the memory sequence material with Mother and Young Raya. Even in the earlier garage roof hopping sequence with the neighborhood buddies who then beat up his sisters, Andy’s presence needs to feel prominent. He’s the still the tour guide for Sarah in this demonstration of frustrating formative moments — How does 10 year old Andy not get totally dominated in the scene by his mother and then the 10 year old apparition of his mother? His provocation, in both parts of the bathtub scene, is his desire to be included in the history; to participate by understanding; and then of course, he falls in love — asks his (younger) mother to marry him — and that doesn’t go so well. Bringing Young Raya in earlier to the final sequence in the basement to up the anxiety and competition Andy feels when taking in his father’s humble achievement with the Glickstein Jam Factory.

4) Do I look for cuts after the Airport sequence with Raya on the phone, Jerry Newcomb coming to the door, Nate coming and going, Jerry and Raya alone, then Nate and Raya alone, all before the three kids come home? This is the least dramatically significant material of the act, though it sets up a) the party being canceled, b) the filmmaking proposition Jerry would like to get involved in, and c) Nate’s physical distress and how he and Raya cope with it and each other.

The More Important Revision points come in the leaner, less flabby Act II:

5) The film. Adjustments to the lead-in, making more accurate the kind of film Andy’s making — Not a documentary — but a Shlockumentary, with healthy doses of Things That Could Never Happen, so let’s call it “Shlocku-Fantasy Feature about WWII.” Like Exodus. Or better yet… (the re-make Andy now plans to shoot…)

More importantly, we need to remind Andy, when talking to his cast, that this is guerilla movie making – 23 hours from script-to-shoot, thanks to Jerry and his great pick-up squad. The idea here is that Andy’s written a remake of CAST A GIANT SHADOW and there’s a principal narrative line here we need to follow — of Mickey Marcus being transformed by his witnessing of the carnage in the camps, unable to shake the memories, and ultimately heeding the call to go and fight (in the victim’s honor and memory) for the new fledgling state of Israel. That’s a drama of a guy needing to leave his wife and their home behind because of this calling from history; his Super Ego leads away from his love… That’s a story Andy needs to tell as a filmmaker, because it’s his story as an artist and fiancé.
But the challenge (to Andy, and for me as a storyteller) comes when Young Raya invades the narrative, and won’t let Andy tell/shoot the story of Mickey alone. Young Raya wants Andy to tell HER story of going to Palestine. Of her exciting journey (which Andy knows and knows doesn’t work out), and ultimately of her falling in love.
In the playing out of this film sequence, Young Raya the apparition is actually seen and heard by the others. This is different from her Act I role where she’s only a figment of Andy’s imagination.
The way to fix this now, in Andy’s film shoot, is for Andy to explain to the cast that Young Raya is The Invasion of a Pushy Sub-Plot he can’t get rid of; he tried; he failed; so they’ve all got to deal with her need for attention but then we’ll get rid of her; we’ll humor her, and push on to the real story; to the making of a New True American Jewish Hero.
Young Raya, of course, will continue to compete for center stage her son’s spot-light.
So the fix, again, here is for Andy to not treat Young Raya as a ghost invading the scene (and seen by others), but by an intrusive sub-plot butting into the main-story that he simply feels compelled to tell. In explaining it thusly, Young Raya (and her mother) may indeed take on a life of their own and actually conspire to hi-jack the scene.

6) The prison-conjured scene between Andy and Raya about her time in a French Police Holding Station. The important thing here is that this is a discovery scene. Andy, in prison, experiences his own dark-night of the soul visitation from his mother whom he interrogates further than ever before about how it is that she managed to be let free. What made her being let go possible? He pushes to finally get the answer that’s been withheld, and it’s a revelation that he may have already known but not understood — the price that her step-father had to pay in order for her to be set free. So play this as a scene about excavating and discovering the truth, and then receiving Raya’s resulting rage, and Andy hitting back and claiming that rage and scream as his own; Andy discovers and claims his voice. And is thereby released from the prison of his own paralysis.

7) The car ride with sisters. Explore this key change in the scene: That they DON’T really know the story of Mom’s betrayal of her step-father; not that Andy’s the last to know and was spaced out and out of it; but that Andy shares things that he’s realized that they’ve vaguely known about but he has some more radical news to share — whether it’s about Grandma getting an abortion, Luzer jumping from a train — and how does anyone know that he jumped and was shot? He asks them. How can we trust Mom’s version? Or do you think she made that up? Or is Andy making it up? And does it matter if stories have elements of creativity mixed in? He wonders that too. They see he’s had a pretty Heavy Night in Jail — whereas they’ve had a pretty boring, but nervous making night at the hospital.

8) the hospital scene. We need to see a difference in the Raya-Andy interaction that builds on Andy’s last scene with her.
And we need, as alluded to earlier, a more intimate excavating by Andy about his father’s grief; his ache; his loneliness, which they share.

9) the wedding. We’re looking at something more active here than the direct address perhaps. Something involving actual leave taking, as parents walk with their respective child down the aisle… So it’s not about the ritual of glass smashing. It’s about the ritual of leave-taking, and then log-sawing, and then flashing forward, to a deeper dialogue, between Raya and Nate as they age some 25 years, and they’re now present at another wedding…

12 thoughts on “ANDY AND THE SHADOWS Reading Tonight at 7:30!

  1. After last night’s reading of Ari Roth’s “Andy and the Shadows,” I found myself wishing that I would still be in Washington, DC when the play will be performed on stage. It was fascinating to hear the script read aloud without the entire production surrounding it. I felt that I got a chance to really focus on the words of the play rather than the actions, costumes, music, and set that has often distracted me during other performances.

    Having never been to a reading before, I was expecting the actors to simply sit and read through the script out loud, but I was pleasantly surprised to realize this was not the case: the actors actually got into character, stood during their scenes, and performed the script more so than just read it. This, to me, brought the play to life and allowed me still to connect with the characters and the story.

    As many others said during the talk-back, I was captivated by the relationship between Andy and his mother, Raya. Their conversations, whether during a fight or when Raya told stories and secrets from her past, continuously intrigued me as they built their dynamic relationship. I felt that an important element of the play was the fact that the audience never really finds out why Andy is so interested in and deeply affected by his mother’s past. For me, this more mysterious idea allowed for the audience’s further engagement with and interpretation of the relationship. Also, I thought it was great to see a glimpse into Raya’s past, especially through her younger self who greatly influenced her adult self but also clearly tormented her in many ways. Raya’s character was so deeply developed that I felt she and Andy almost shared the stage as a pair of main characters, rather than a one-man lead with a cast of supporting characters.

    Finally, I really liked the unique transitions (or rather, lack of distinct transitions) between dream and reality. I am incredibly interested to know how this will be distinguished during the actual performance, but regardless, I believe this was a very exciting component of the play.

    • I was also really intrigued by the transitions between Andy’s dreams and reality. At times this was very confusing for me because of the lack of a set. Sometimes I was wondering whether or not it was a dream or it was reality, which left me feeling very confused. I agree that it will be very interesting to see how this dimension is to be distinguished during the actual production. I think that the switch between dreams and reality really speaks to the title of the production. Andy and the Shadows—his dreams seemed to haunt him, to the point where it basically became a reality for him. His dreams and hallucinations were shadows that haunted him throughout his pursuit to find himself. This idea also connects to the theme of haunting that we have discovered in so many other productions here in DC.

  2. As I mentioned in my midterm presentation from last Thursday, I tend to organize the plays we have seen into only one of the three themes of the semester. I really appreciate Ari’s insight in the initial post that “Andy and the Shadows” falls not only into the class’s theme of the ethics and exigencies of the artist, but also into the other theme of staging war: impact and aftermath. This comment, like the previous ones of the semester on the blog or in discussions that focus on the many themes of the class, made me reflect about the play in a way that I had not previously considered. I had only thought about Andy’s struggles as an artist, but in considering the theme of war, I found myself reflecting on how the war had affected the family, specifically Raya.
    I definitely find myself agreeing with Mary’s comment. Having never seen a read through before, I was engaged in a way that I have not been before in regards to theater. You still got the emotion of the actors, but not as much physicality. This allowed you to focus on the characters and the story. This format of experiencing the play made it difficult at times to discern what was reality or a dream, a real conversation or past experience, but what was lost in this was gained in the new way one could concentrate on the characters. I think that this was a great experience to add to our class that expands our knowledge of theater and the processes that are involved in bringing a piece of work to the stage.

  3. I really enjoyed seeing “Andy and the Shadows” last Monday, after having all the anticipation build and initially result in a hurricane Sandy postponement. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, and this is I think my first experience going to a play and having my opinion of it a couple days later be drastically different from when I was leaving the theater. Usually I seem to have my opinion formed by the time I get back to my apartment, but perhaps after our midterm presentations last week or Obama’s victory last night I am feeling particularly contemplative and feeling moved to reevaluate and look deeper in to this play.

    Quite frankly, for most of the first act, I found Andy a very difficult character to be around. I felt that he was trying to exploit his parents pain for his own personal use, in a way that really didn’t sit well with me. He pushed his mother to tell him stories that she clearly was not comfortable with, and it seemed to be solely for his artistic success as a filmmaker. He pushed Sarah away to be tortured by his familial problems, when Sarah clearly felt that she came from a much higher level family dysfunction and that Andy should embrace his loving family despite all their quirks. Andy seemed to opt for wallowing rather than counting his blessings, and pushing his mother to a dark time in her life, rather than respecting her need for quiet.

    The second act, however, was incredibly redeeming for my opinion on Andy’s character. I realized I was being too harsh on him. Through his interaction with his father and sisters, and through his continual haunting by the younger version of his mother (played by his sister, an incredibly powerful portrayal even at the reading stage), I realized that Andy’s examination of his parent’s past as Jewish World War II refugees was coming from much more than a desire to make an artistic film. It was searing at his own identity that he didn’t fully understand his parents background. Where they came from is such a key aspect of where he came from, and where he was going to go. He needed to establish that part of his past in order to move forward on his future with Sarah. The more I think about him, the less I think of him as a pretentious masochist and more as a man experiencing a complex and valid search for identity.

    The fact that midway through this play my opinion of his character changed – and, as I reflected after the play, changed even more radically – made this play very special to me. I like being forced to look at things from different perspectives, and Andy and the Shadows certainly forces you to through it’s jumps between past, present, waking, dreaming, et cetera. I felt that I got to know Andy, and in turn, got to know more about how my own past colors my experiences in ways that others may not initially appreciate. I really enjoyed the read-through, and wish I could be in town to see it in production. I know it will be even better then.

    • I really enjoyed reading your comment about “Andy and the Shadows,” as I had many similar feelings about Andy and his relationship with his family and those around him. During the first act of the play I was annoyed with Andy and I couldn’t really understand why he would treat his family with such little respect. But as the play went on and Andy began to appreciate his family, I had to take a step back and apply his realizations to my perspectives on life. It is not a very apparent theme in the play, yet at least two of us were able to comment on the same lesson and apply that realization to our own life.

  4. The reading of “Andy and the Shadows” was one of the most relatable productions that I have viewed thus far in my theater experience here in DC. Andy, the protagonist, was in the midst of an identity crisis, which took a toll on nearly all of his relationships. The strong elements of family, friends, and love created a warm atmosphere for the viewer to really relate and empathize with the characters.

    The scene that stood out to me the most is when Andy was trying to better understand his father when he discovered his collection of homemade jams. Andy thereafter discussed how his father expressed his emotions through his creation of the jams. The different flavors represented his multitude of feelings that were being suppressed by the confinements of the jar. I could really feel the connection that the two characters were trying to create, which was one of the main relationships that Andy usually ignored. This moment was a small turning point in the creation of a deeper relationship with his father and a stronger identity of self for Andy. I think a lot of viewers can relate to the idea of attempting to understand a parent’s history and feelings in order to create a deeper relationship.

    At times it would have been helpful for the audience to have the presence of a set to better orient themselves in different scenes. However, I think that the lack of a set allowed me to connect with the story as if it was truly non-fiction. The reading of “Andy and the Shadows” connected me to the theatrical non-fiction reading by Jon Spelman of “The Prostate Dialogues.” It was as if I was truly listening to a person narrating their life experience to the audience because of the focus on the protagonist and the nature of the script. I sincerely enjoyed listening to Andy grow throughout the reading and it will be interesting to see how the dynamics will change in the presence of a set. The script brought the term of bildungsroman to mind, even though the circumstances are not exactly a true definition of the term. Last, but most definitely not least, the production had a plethora of witty comments that kept the audience chuckling all night.

    • I really thought the Jam scene was interesting too, but the relationship between Andy and the dad was frustrating at that point. When Andy wanted his dad’s company to become even bigger, I wonder whether that was for himself or for his father. It seemed to me like the Jam scene was Andy showing how he thought his father was larger than life, and was Nate showing how he wanted to just do what he loved in his old age. His heart condition during that scene was striking too, which I feel like was a turning point for Andy.

  5. This was the first time I had been to a professional read-through, and I was happy to see that the actors clearly had put a lot of work into preparing for it. Getting to see how actors explore their characters was really interesting. The play itself was a very relatable story about identity crisis and fear of banality. Andy, the protagonist, is looking for the moment when he can have a drastic identity like his parents. Born to refugees, he is constantly at odds with his parents, who finally want normality, his sisters, who embrace the refugee cause, and his own existence as an almost-struggling artist. Throughout the first act, Andy seems to only make things more complicated than they need to be, relentlessly clinging to the hope of realizing his “duende” in the face of some type of adversity. The actor’s portrayal of Andy was so intense that I felt my own forehead wrinkle together as well. That made the first act almost exhausting, worrying about this poor young adult who wished his life was harder than it is.
    It wasn’t until the second act that we got to see Andy in relation to his parents more closely. His relentless search for hardship almost trivializes his parents real stories. A key moment in the play is when he realizes his mother’s story was not exactly righteous. Later, when his dad shows Andy the jam he’s been making, Nate wants it only to be a hobby, nothing more. The play finally ends with Andy accepting the “duende” in his own life at both his and his daughter’s weddings, finally signifying a real maturity.

  6. Attending the reading of Andy in the Shadows was an interesting experience for me. It was the first time I had attended a reading and so I was not sure what to expect, but I found it very engaging and I think it will become even more so once it is adorned with costumes, set and stage. In this form, it was easier to focus intently on the story and the interweaving themes. The very personal stories and moments were moving. Some themes that I noticed, and which I will have to put some more thought to later, included the searching by an artist for meaning—both deeply personal and existential but also in the greater narrative they experience. This searching can lead the artist through many highs and lows. Along this journey and because of it one can discover much about truth, life and suffering. It was interesting to see the how Andy searched for understanding in suffering, in the echoes of intergenerational wounds and triumph. Compared to his mother who sought to get out of the prison cell, Andy looked for truth within it. Ultimately this historical suffering and shared memory did bring him the meaning and understanding that he sought.
    Much of the play was a blend of recurring dream, memory, reflection and imaginative introspection. One theme, and one of Andy’s pivotal lessons, was the importance of retelling stories, the natural way that they are embellished, how the holes “filled in” and the reverberation of truth and experience through these most important stories. Just as this theme took up much of the content of the play, it also shaped the form—with scenes often flowing one into the next, and specters appearing and disappearing—giving the impression of the way dreams pass from one ‘scene’ to another, and how memory often skips from one thing to another and back, or overlays our present experience. I found this parallel between the form and content very pleasing and natural.
    Just as the undulated between memory and moment, reflection, dream and action, it also wound between funny, sad, touching and angst -filled. Much of the emotional and the interaction between siblings, or child and parents were relatable and moving, as son searched to identify with his parents and past in order to make his future. In particular the moments between father and son during the hospital scene left me a little misty-eyed. I enjoyed the range of emotion, and how quickly chuckles could become sighs and turn back again. I think this play will only get better as it further develops into a full production.

  7. Andy and the Shadows was an absorbing and enjoyable play that showed one person’s psychological struggle to find his identity and understand the world around him, and his confusion when fantasy met reality.

    The scenes that I loved the most are Raya’s monologue of her escape and Andy’s conversation with his mother when he was in jail. Andy grew up with the story of Raya’s dramatic escape. He had always been fascinated by her adventure, and had hoped to have that kind of adventure, in which everything was dark and horrible in the beginning, but then people got out of the darkness magically and gained triumph. As a result, he was constantly feeling that he did not have the life he wanted. He kept comparing his life to Raya’s adventure, and felt that he was not good enough and things were going wrong in his life. He tried to make things right and tried to create this kind of experience by filming the wedding video, but he ended up being more confused. During the imaginary conversation with Raya, Andy finally learnt the true story behind her escape. The true memory was full of pain and rage, and it was Raya’s, not Andy’s. This is a turning point where Andy started to question his own heart rather than be affected by other people to understand his identity and search for “duende”.

    I really liked that all the characters in this play are very vivid. Also, all the actors were very devoted during the reading. They put in a lot of effort to stay in their characters and express emotions through their lines, so it was easy for me to understand the transitions between dream and reality as the plot developed, and I really appreciate how these transitions were beautifully done.

  8. Overall comments:
    This play flowed. I really have to say this was a tight play and there was never a dull moment and the pacing was excellent. Once you got a feel for the play about five minutes in, it was able to take hold and not only intertwine the past and the present, but make them complement each other. Too often the past comes to mind when triggered by feelings brought about from events unfolding in our present reality. And I feel that’s one area where this play was very realistic- the events happening to Andy and his dreams of the past all respected an underlying emotional reality. For that, I also say this play flowed well.

    Moving on to more of the content of the play- Poor Andy’s got a serious depth perception problem (as do we all). He doesn’t know whether to make big things of small things or, vice versa, belittle what are actually real emotional developments (his own love life, much less the significance of his own life and quest for find meaning in general). It seems like not only is Andy living in the shadow of his family’s past (as do we all), but in turn the shadow of one of the greatest human tragedies of the 20th century, the Holocaust. And as Andy reflects upon his childhood, he realizes how much war stories have become part of his life, much less psyche. He evaluates his own life and current existence in Chicago to that of the harrowing tales he grew up with and finds that it always pales in comparison. I got the feeling that Andy also felt that the blasé American lifestyle his parents enjoy does a dishonor to their memory, or maybe that he kind of views them as the embellished figures of wartime memory first and foremost before he sees them as their current selves in the 1970s. To add to all this, Andy was called ‘the healer of this family’ by his mother- so aside from a personal urge to make sense of his own life, he has a sense of imperative to heal terrible wounds he cannot even begin to understand.

    So brings us to Andy’s remake, the schlock-u-mentary. I think it is a great observation that filmmakers are going for remakes because we tend to defer to the great shadowy wisdom of the past, of all human experience. And yet, when we take all the veneer off, great films were made by human filmmakers, who were made of flesh and blood and felt very real emotions and suffered imperfections, just as we all do.

    The truth is people go through struggles and triumphs and setbacks and revelations every day- many of which are perhaps worthy of being told as a story. On the flip side… Do we need to find deep meaning in something like Andy’s father’s jam? Does it need to be analyzed and marketed to a national audience in order to validate its essence? Why can’t it just ‘be’?

    This image of the shadow is an appropriate and apt one to describe Andy’s struggles with his family’s memory and that of the past. Shadows distort and shadows obscure.

  9. Andy and the Shadows was an interesting play to say the least. The play takes the audience on a journey in search of truth and self-identity with the main character, Andy Glickstein. Andy and the Shadows is a play that flirts back and forth with the meaning of dreams and reality.
    From the beginning of the play Andy expresses his feeling of dissatisfaction or unfulfillment with his life. He feels that he doesn’t deserve his fiancé or to be married because he hasn’t had a significant tragedy in his life. In a scene where Andy and his fiancé were conversing about their engagement party and his engagement present Andy expressed concern that he wouldn’t be able to give a gift that had depth that Sarah(his fiancé ) deserves. He explained “I am across-the-board incapable of coming up with the sufficient “Duendé” in my life to provide the grist your gift demands! “A Life-Force!” That’s what it is, Sair. Bull-fighters have it. Flamenco dancers have it. Do I project an “Ecstatic Life-Force” to you in my work? Do I embody the Tragic? Do I have ANY “Duendé?”

    This was a very powerful scene because it further explores the ideal of what it truly means to be married. According to Sarah, they are the happiest couple she knows! Yet, Andy still feels unworthy and unfulfilled. I saw a true connection between this play and an earlier play I saw this semester, “Married Sex.” Both main characters in the plays were searching for something they may have already had in the beginning.

    Overall, this was a very interesting and thought provoking reading. The play is still developing, and I cannot wait to see what the final production entails.

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