THE STORIES: CONTROL FREAKS. Sister Willard (a troubled woman who struggles with three personalities: Sister, Spaghetti and Pinkie) returns from jury duty to discover her brother, Carl, has married Betty. Carl and Betty have big plans to open up Furniture World. All they need is Sister’s signature on the papers, and the building will be theirs. Paul, the owner of the building, is invited over to sign the papers and have cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. Sister decides to “set her cap” for Paul because she wants Carl to see that “she can get a man.” Betty doesn’t like this plan because she is secretly and very sexually involved with the seductive Paul. Murder, mayhem and memories unfold as these four desperate characters vie for ultimate control. (2 men, 2 women.) L-PLAY is a fascinating study of style, character and rhythm. The play is written in twelve scenes. Each scene has a unique style and is a mini play in itself. The element that unites these pieces is that each scene title begins with the letter L. The scenes include: “Learner,” a young student struggles to gain the affection of his beloved through poetry; “Lunatic,” an isolated woman fights going mad, goes mad, and after circling the edge finds redemption; “Leaving,” a piece performed in masks in which a granddaughter seeks to find the secrets of her dying grandmother’s life; “Loser,” a small-town guy tries to get his best friend to hit on his girlfriend to test her loyalty. The final piece, “Life,” is primarily a dance where the primitive family of Ones encounters the Shoe who presents them with the terrible joy of life. (3 men, 3 women.) SISTERS OF THE WINTER MADRIGAL. Calaih and Taretta, the orphaned daughters of Joshua the Cow Herder, live together in a hut outside a medieval village. Calaih, a girl with beautiful long red hair, roams the hills with her cow and falls desperately in love with Stephan, the Shoemaker’s son. Taretta, the older sister, is a ravishing seductress who is the most sought after prostitute in the land. Fortune changes for the two sisters when the High Lord proclaims he will marry Calaih because he is obsessed with her glorious hair, and Taretta’s arm becomes afflicted with a menacing disease. (5 men, 4 women.)
“Nothing in the previous work of Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Beth Henley quite prepares one for the stunning singularity and depth that permeates her latest work, CONTROL FREAKS.” —LA Village Voice. “…a curious, challenging, funny, and at times, mesmerizing evening of theatrical musings…refusing to conform to soothing, sentimental narratives. Ms. Henley’s brand of Southern Gothic humor—dark as a box of bittersweet chocolates—is enticing and deliciously impolite…” —Daily Hampshire Gazette . “Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Beth Henley exhibits a toothy edge with her one act, SISTERS OF THE WINTER MADRIGAL, a trenchant black comedy in the stilted guise of a fairy tale…Recommended!” —LA Weekly.