THE STORY: To celebrate the tenth anniversary of the opening of a flop play, the playwright joins the old gang to reminisce at their former haunt, the Talk House. Most haven’t been there, or even seen each other, in years, and the gossip and nostalgia are mixed with questions and accusations. Why does a washed-up old actor keep getting beaten up by his friends? Where does a failed actress-turned-waitress disappear to for months at a time? EVENING AT THE TALK HOUSE is a biting, yet affectionate, portrayal of artists grasping to find their place in a world in which art has no currency and terror has become an accepted part of life.
“…[an] excavation of moral cowardice in a fascist age…[EVENING AT THE TALK HOUSE] provides plenty of bitter food for thought…” —NY Times. “…beneath the humor…is Shawn’s warning about the uselessness of art, and in particular of the theater, whose inherent elitism renders it incapable of responding meaningfully to politics, and whose general tone of hysteria leaves it singularly susceptible to co-optation. …Where EVENING AT THE TALK HOUSE achieves its unique power is in the slippery subtlety of its contradictory arguments.” —New York Magazine. “Shawn [has a] talent for stealthily climbing into our brains and planting a time bomb of horror. He lulls us into a false sense of comfort, exploiting the complacency that is very much at the heart of his story. …Shawn seamlessly blends deathly serious themes with his unique brand of absurd humor. …An uncomfortable ring of truth emanates from this story about the breezy acceptance of tyranny, provided it does not interfere with certain bourgeois niceties.” —TheaterMania.com.